Long Island Police Arrest Three MS-13 Members, All in the U.S. Illegally

Gang investigators for the Nassau County, N.Y., police department on Long Island arrested three MS-13 suspects this week in connection with a recent attempted murder. Two of the suspects are brothers and all three are in the United States illegally.

At a press conference Wednesday, Nassau County Police Chief Kevin Smith said Fidel Hernandez, 23; his older brother, Jose, 26; and Miguel Urias Arguenta, 18, were taken into custody Tuesday and charged with attempted murder.

According to Smith, on Sunday the Hernandez brothers and Arguenta allegedly attacked a man with a machete and gun, but did not kill him. They are charged with attempted murder. The Hernandez brothers are also implicated in a machete attack in January where the victim also survived.

Smith discussed the fear and threats – either implied or explicit – that potential witnesses face, making cooperation with law enforcement a daunting task.

"I think at times people are afraid, and we sometimes have to work through that fear that they have with cooperating with the police," Smith said at a press conference.

Both Hernandez brothers are in the United States illegally. Smith said Fidel has a criminal history that includes trespassing, robbery, stalking, and acting in a manner injurious to a minor.

Ironically, Arguenta is what would be considered an unaccompanied alien child (UAC). Officials said he is applying for his green card, but did not say where he is in the process, who his sponsors are, or whether he has ever been compliant with the immigration requirements of a UAC. Wherever he is in the process, he is still considered in deportation proceedings until fully compliant.

What was a shock, or perhaps not, to hear was that Arguenta already has a robust criminal history, including burglary, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, and obstructing governmental administration.

My lingering question, which I have presented in previous blog posts and reports on other UACs, is: What is immigration status of Arguenta's sponsors? If they are in the country illegally, as the majority of sponsors are, ICE should be knocking on their door.

These arrests bring the total to 13 MS-13 members arrested on Long Island since March who are in the country illegally and who have been charged with violent crimes.