The recent eruption of gang violence on Long Island — highlighted by the discovery of the mutilated bodies of four young men in a public park — fits what experts and sources say is a new and more deadly profile of MS-13.
At the heart of that profile are newcomers from Central America eager to make their mark within an immigrant gang already known for its code of brutality and its weapon of choice, the machete, the sources say.
They represent a very small but dangerous cohort among the thousands of young people under 18 who, according to federal statistics, have illegally entered the United States unaccompanied by adults since 2015.
These newcomers have found a niche in MS-13 on Long Island — replacing those who have been arrested — and are focused on proving themselves to be even more violent than established gang members.
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