Alleged MS-13 Clique Charged with Robbery, Kidnapping, and Assault

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – Seven alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang Huntington Criminal Locates Salvatrucha (HCLS) clique were charged with robbery, kidnapping, gang assault, and other related charges. The charges stem from a violent attack on a 15-year-old boy on January 6, 2024, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney.

Tierney emphasized the dedication and commitment of his office to fully investigating and prosecuting gang members who commit violence in Suffolk County. He condemned the alleged violent acts, stating that gang violence has no place in Suffolk County and will not be tolerated.

The indictment followed an investigation that revealed the 15-year-old victim was lured to the Huntington Train Station by a minor. At the train station, five of the seven co-defendants allegedly surrounded the victim, stole his money and property, and took turns punching and kicking him while displaying a knife. The victim was then forced into a car and driven to the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood.

At the psychiatric center, the defendants allegedly forced the victim into an abandoned building, where they subjected him to further physical assault. The victim sustained a laceration on his neck, a fractured skull, and required surgery to treat a brain bleed.

The indicted individuals face charges including robbery, gang assault, assault, kidnapping, and attempted assault. Some of the defendants have already been arraigned and are being held on substantial bail amounts. However, one of the defendants, Jose Zepeda Padilla, remains at large, prompting law enforcement to seek information from the public regarding his whereabouts.

The case is being prosecuted by the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, with investigative assistance from Detective Sean Walsh of the Suffolk County Police Department. The district attorney’s office emphasized that criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.