Home News MS-13 gang leader pleads guilty to racketeering, admits to ordering teen girls’...

MS-13 gang leader pleads guilty to racketeering, admits to ordering teen girls’ murders on L.I.

A top MS-13 gang member in Long Island admitted his role in eight murders, including ordering the brutal 2016 slayings of two teenage girls as revenge for a high school brawl.

Alexi Saenz, 29, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges Wednesday in Long Island Federal Court, admitting he authorized the horrifying killings of Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15 in Brentwood, L.I. Charges against his brother, Jaero Saenz, are still pending.

On March 2, eight members of the violent MS-13 gang were arrested for the revenge killings of Nisa Mickens (pictured), 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16.


Nisa Mickens, left, and Kayla Cuevas.

Saenz, who faces 40 to 70 years behind bars when he’s sentenced on Jan. 31, 2025, copped to his involvement in six machete murders, two fatal shootings and several other attempted murders over a bloody 12-month stretch in 2016 and 2017. He oversaw several of the killings personally.

The Saenz brothers ordered the teen girls’ murders after Kayla and her friends fought with MS-13 members at Brentwood (L.I.) High School a week earlier, federal prosecutors said.

Enrique “Turkey” Portillo, Selvin Chavez, and two other juvenile members of the gang’s Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside clique piled into a car on Sept. 13, 2016 to hunt for their rivals when they spotted Kayla walking in Brentwood, according to the feds.

Nisa, Kayla’s childhood friend, was walking alongside her, and the gang members decided she had to die as well.

They called the Saenz brothers, who gave them the green light, and the gang members poured out of their car and descended on the two teens, wielding baseball bats and a machete.

Nisa’s mutilated body was found on the street shortly after, while Kayla’s was found behind a nearby house the next day.

“To say that Alexi Saenz’s hands are drenched in blood does not begin to describe the multiple killings and extreme mayhem he personally directed and committed in the span of one year in Suffolk County,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said. “While those murders and violent crimes were intended to further the sordid mission of the MS-13, the defendant has failed miserably.”

In 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr authorized prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the Saenz brothers, but the current attorney general, Merrick Garland, withdrew that authorization in November.


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