Thirty-five suspected members of a Long Island gang have been arrested amid a string of brutal killings, including the discovery of a teenager's skeletal remains. Jose Pena-Hernandez, 18, was believed to be a member of the MS-13 gang with links to El Salvador and Los Angeles, police in Suffolk County say. The teen's remains were found earlier this week in Brentwood, a hamlet of 60,000 about 40 miles east of Manhattan where law enforcement officials have intensified their battle against gang violence, the AP reports. This past month, four teenagers from Brentwood High School were found dead.
The body of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens, who suffered head trauma and lacerations, was dumped on a road on Sept. 13, police said. Her best friend, 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, was found beaten to death a day later behind a home. Two miles away in a wooded area, police made more grisly discoveries a week later: the remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta and 15-year-old Miguel Garcia-Moran. Both had disappeared earlier this year. A police spokesman says that when the girls were murdered, the commissioner "made a commitment to the community to eradicate gang violence." He says five of the suspects are gang leaders who will face federal organized crime charges. (Read more Long Island stories.)