MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a jury has convicted an MS-13 gang leader for assaults and intimidation – including a shooting – against teenage and younger Salvadorean immigrants in Uniondale.
After a 10-day trial, a Nassau County jury deliberated for one day before finding Jesus Arevalo, 31, of Hempstead, guilty yesterday of all 24 counts against him:
• 5 counts of Attempted Assault in the 1st degree (a C violent felony)• 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd degree (a C violent felony)• Criminal Use of a Firearm in the 2nd degree (a C violent felony)• Conspiracy in the 3rd degree (a D felony)• 5 counts of Conspiracy in the 4th degree (an E felony)• 2 counts of Conspiracy in the 5th degree (an A misdemeanor) • Assault in the 2nd degree (a D violent felony)• Attempted Assault in the 2nd degree (an E felony)• Assault in the 3rd degree (an A misdemeanor)• Reckless Endangerment (class D felony)• Criminal Possession of a Firearm (class E felony)• Attempted Coercion in the 1st degree (class E felony)• Endangering the Welfare of a Child (an A misdemeanor)• Resisting Arrest (an A misdemeanor)
Arevalo faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison on each top count. He is due for sentencing before Court of Claims Judge Alan Honorof on May 17.
“With other MS-13 members, this defendant targeted young immigrants attending a local high school, tried to lure them into his violent gang, and put the lives of others including a nine-year-old child in danger,” DA Singas said. “I thank the jury for its quick verdict to ensure that this violent gang member will pay for every single one of the crimes he was charged with.”
DA Singas said that in 2014, Arevalo, a member of the MS-13 gang, directed students at Uniondale High School who were also members of MS-13 to recruit students who had recently come to the school from El Salvador. Arevalo used students as young as 15 to carry out his objectives. In one particular instance on May 12, 2014, Arevalo, along with his co-conspirators, waited outside of Uniondale High School for a student who had resisted the gang’s earlier advancements. Earlier in the day the victim during class told one of the defendant’s co-conspirators that he was not going to join MS-13 and then went on to insult the MS-13 gang. Immediately after school, the defendant, along with three other co-defendants, surrounded the victim. With Arevalo leading the charge gang members punched and kicked the victim about the head and body causing him physical injury, and attempted to steal his bicycle.
About two weeks later, in school, members of MS-13 were again harassing this same victim. Another student intervened and told the gang members to leave the victim alone. One of the gang members told him that he would be next. Four days later, this individual was stabbed by two MS-13 associates of the Arevalo, who was not present for the stabbing.
After tensions continued throughout the summer, on Aug. 14, 2014, members of MS-13 surrounded the house of yet another Uniondale High School student, who had been harassed by the gang as far back as November of 2012. Moments later, Arevalo arrived at the house with a gun, went into the backyard and fired multiple times at the five individuals who were in the backyard, including a nine-year-old child.
Arevalo fled the scene of the Aug. 14 shooting and was finally apprehended by the Special Investigations Squad of the Nassau County Police Department on Oct. 9, 2014, where he resisted arrest by running from a detective and then attempted to punch the detective to avoid capture.
Arevalo conspired with seven co-defendants, who were enrolled as students at Uniondale High School and ranged in age from 15 to 19 years old at the time of the crimes.
Assistant District Attorneys Christiana McSloy and Lauren Kalaydjian of DA Singas’ Special Operations, Narcotics and Gangs Bureau are prosecuting the case. Arevalo is represented by Lawrence Etah, Esq.