A U.S. circuit court judge sentenced a New York MS-13 gang member who goes by the moniker "Joker" to 35 years in prison for the murder of a fellow 16-year-old, female gang member.
Edwin Henriquez, a member of La Mara Salvatrucha ("MS-13") on Long Island, pleaded guilty to the Sept. 19, 2004, murder of Olivia Melendez Mendoza ("Melendez") in Old Westbury, N.Y. Henriquez pleaded guilty on Nov. 3, 2010.
U.S. District Judge Leonard D. Wexler imposed the sentence at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, N.Y.
Henriquez and other Long Island MS-13 members decided to kill Melendez because they believed that she was not abiding by the gang's rules. Henriquez lured Melendez to a wooded area in Old Westbury where he shot her once in the back of the head. On April 12, Judge Wexler sentenced MS-13 member Jose Recinos, also known as "Psycho" and "Little Psycho," to 20 years' imprisonment for aiding and abetting Henriquez in the murder.
MS-13 is the largest street gang on Long Island. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York has obtained convictions against more than 120 MS-13 members, including 10 clique leaders, for felony offenses, including racketeering, murder, assault, firearm possession, and narcotics trafficking.