Featured Story
07/28/17 4:26pm
07/28/2017 4:26 PM

President Donald Trump said he has a message for violent gang members in the United States that he made clear during a speech Friday afternoon in Brentwood before an auditorium filled with local law enforcement: “We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you and we will deport you.” READ

11/14/14 11:19am
11/14/2014 11:19 AM
Albino Dejesus Medina is led out of Southold Town Court Friday morning. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Albino Dejesus Medina is led out of Southold Town Court Friday morning. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The fifth suspect arrested following last month’s shooting — said by police to be gang-related — is being held on $250,000 cash bail, awaiting word of a grand jury incitement.

Albino Dejesus Medina, 20, of Bay Shore was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

He had been taken into custody Thursday with the assistance of U.S. Marshals, the NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Riverhead police. He was brought into Southold Town Court for arraignment Thursday morning. He requested a lawyer and the arraignment was pushed back to this morning.

During his arraignment Friday morning, Mr. Medina’s attorney said at the time of the incident, Medina had been living on Third Street in Greenport as he had been working on a landscaping project in the area.

Police allege that Mr. Medina is a member of the MS-13 gang, which according to police, carried out a shooting against rival members of Mara 18, a rival gang, in the middle of October. In the wake of the shooting, Southold Police arrested three people the day after the shooting, and a fourth two days after that.

The first four men arrested were: Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31 of Greenport; Jeremias Nathanael Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue;Freddie Fernando Torres Campos, 16, of Southold and Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport, who all allegedly took part in an attack that left two men shot. They’ve all been indicted and arraigned on violent felony charges of assault and gang assault.

One of those men was shot multiple and also slashed with a machete. One of the alleged assailants, Mr. Vasquez, was also shot by friendly fire, police have said.

Mr. Medina is being held on $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond, and is expected back in court Monday.

11/12/14 12:10am
11/12/2014 12:10 AM
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa at Tuesday's community meeting in Greenport. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa at Tuesday’s community meeting in Greenport. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Nearly a decade after they first arrived in Greenport, the Guardian Angels will once again maintain a regular presence in the village, this time hoping to deter gang violence.

The organization’s founder told a crowd of more than 40 at St. Agnes R.C. Church that walking the streets of Greenport will be the first step in the red berets’ return to the community.

“The patrols will be here,” Guardian Angels CEO Curtis Sliwa said Tuesday night. “That’s one major step in the right direction.”

(more…)

10/24/14 8:00am
10/24/2014 8:00 AM

East End law enforcement officials have identified the five gangs listed below as most active in our area. While most derive their principal income from the sale and/or distribution of various illegal drugs, many are also involved in crimes including human and weapons trafficking, prostitution, homicide and drive-by shootings, assault, carjacking, identity theft, money laundering robbery, and extortion.  (more…)

10/24/14 8:00am
Southold shooting suspects (from left) Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport;  Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31, of Greenport; and Jeremias Nathaniel Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue are escorted by corrections officers into Southold Town Court Friday morning. The three were arraigned in Suffolk County court Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Southold shooting suspects (from left) Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport; Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31, of Greenport; and Jeremias Nathaniel Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue are escorted by corrections officers into Southold Town Court Friday morning. The three were arraigned in Suffolk County court Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Last Tuesday’s shooting in Southold, in which four alleged members of MS-13 attacked two men from a rival gang with guns and a machete, has brought attention to the growing problem of gangs on the East End.

In Riverhead, Riverside and Flanders, gang violence has long been an issue. Town, police and community leaders say they are working together in an attempt to attack the root of the problem.

In Southold Town, gangs are more prevalent than in the past, as changing demographics have brought Latin groups like MS-13 and 18th Street to the East End.  (more…)

10/22/14 5:03pm
10/22/2014 5:03 PM
Southold shooting suspects (from left) Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport;  Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31, of Greenport; and Jeremias Nathaniel Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue are escorted by corrections officers into Southold Town Court Friday morning. The three were arraigned in Suffolk County court Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Southold shooting suspects (from left) Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport; Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31, of Greenport; and Jeremias Nathaniel Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue are escorted by corrections officers into Southold Town Court Friday morning. The three were arraigned in Suffolk County court Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A fifth man is currently being sought by police for his alleged role in last Tuesday’s shooting in Southold, a Suffolk prosecutor said Wednesday during the arraignments of three men accused in the attack.

A total of four men so far have been arrested by police. They’ve all been indicted and arraigned on violent felony charges of assault and gang assault.

They are all being held in county jail on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond. (more…)

10/17/14 11:00am
10/17/2014 11:00 AM
Police lead

Police lead shooting suspect Freddie Fernando Torres Campos into Southold Town Justice Court Friday morning for his arraignment. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Freddie Fernando Torres Campos, a 16-year-old accused of taking part in Tuesday morning’s shooting in Southold, has been ordered held on $250,000 cash bail after his arraignment in court Friday.

Mr. Campos — who was lead into court on crutches wearing a cast on his left foot where he was allegedly shot by another suspect while taking part in the attack — was arrested on Wednesday charged with two counts of felony assault.

The 16-year-old’s defense attorney, Eric Bessa, said the teen was an undocumented immigrant who worked as a landscaper and who had been living in the area for a year. He had asked for lower bail to be set, but Suffolk County prosecutor Timothy McNulty said the “serious allegations and the strength of the people’s case” warranted higher bail.

Mr. Bessa later declined to comment on the case. A woman who was in court and who spoke with Mr. Bessa after the arraignment told a Suffolk Times reporter that she wasn’t related to the case and declined further comment.

Justice Rudolph Bruer set bail at $250,000 cash or $750,000 bond and issued two stay-away orders to protect the two victims in the shooting. Mr. Campos is due back in court on Oct. 22.

The three other suspects in the shooting appeared in Southold Town court Friday morning and had their cases adjourned to next week. Attorneys said the cases will be presented before a grand jury for a possible indictment by Friday evening.

10/16/14 6:29pm
10/16/2014 6:29 PM
Southold Town police lead the three shooting suspects into Southold Town Justice Court Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Southold Town police lead the three shooting suspects into Southold Town Justice Court Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A 16-year-old alleged MS-13 gang member from Southold was arrested Thursday at Southampton Hospital, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound following the Tuesday morning shooting incident on South Harbor Road, town police said.

Freddie Fernando Torres Campos  was shot in the left ankle by a .22 caliber bullet fired by a member of his own gang, police said. He was admitted into the hospital the day of the shooting, they said.

Mr. Torres Campos faces two counts of first-degree assault. He is being held overnight at Southold Town Police Headquarters and will be arraigned Friday morning, police said.

Three fellow members of the MS-13 street gang were previously arrested in connection with the shooting. They are Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31 of Greenport; Jeremias Nathanael Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue; and Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport, police said.

Mr. Santamaria and Mr. Recinos Torres were additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon, police said. Mr. Recinos Torres and Mr. Vasquez are both in the United States illegally and are currently in removal proceedings, police said.

The three men were arraigned Wednesday in Southold Town Justice Court. They are each being held on $250,000 cash bail or $750,000 bond. Judge Rudolph Bruer presided. They’re due back in Southold Town Justice Court Friday.

A responding officer spotted Mr. Santamaria and Mr. Recinos Torres in a parked vehicle a short distance from the scene, police said. The officer found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle.

Police brought both men into custody and, during the investigation, discovered Mr. Vasquez was also involved. Authorities arrested Mr. Vasquez at Greenport High School, where he is a student, police said.

The violence occurred just past midnight Tuesday and stemmed from a dispute that occurred at Third Street Park in Greenport Oct. 10, police said. The victims, whose identities have not been released, are allegedly members of Mara-18, or 18th Street, a rival street gang, police said.

The victims were walking along Route 25 and South Harbor Road, where they both live, when they were spotted by the MS-13 members Tuesday, police said. The MS-13 members ambushed the victims, police said, and as many as five shots were fired from a .22-caliber handgun. One victim was attacked with a machete, police said.

The two victims were reported in stable condition Wednesday, according to a Peconic Bay Medical Center spokesperson.

The MS-13 gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, originated in Los Angeles and comprises Central Americans commonly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, according to the federal Department of Justice.

Its main rival is the “18th Street” gang, also known as M-18 or Mara-18, which also is made up of those with ties to Central America, according to the department.

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