NEW YORK — A Salvadoran national and convicted felon was arrested March 2 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York officers in Huntington, New York. A criminal complaint was Tuesday in federal court in Central Islip charging William Umberto Martinez Chavez, 40, with illegal reentry into the United States. Martinez Chavez was a member of the MS-13 Gang and previously found guilty of manslaughter for a fatal stabbing on Long Island.
“As alleged, the defendant illegally returned to the United States after he served a lengthy New York State jail term for a homicide conviction on Long Island and was deported to El Salvador,” stated United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue. “There should be no doubt that this Office is firmly committed to prosecuting felons who reenter the United States, especially a violent offender such as the defendant who was affiliated with the deadly MS-13 criminal organization.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his appreciation to the Joint Criminal Alien Removal Taskforce and the United States Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Long Island Division, for their assistance with the case.
According to the complaint, Martinez Chavez, a Salvadoran national, was deported from the United States in October 2017, after having been convicted in May 2002 of manslaughter in connection with a May 2000 stabbing outside a deli in Huntington. Martinez Chavez stabbed the victim, severing his aorta and causing his death. The defendant has admitted to previously being a member of the MS-13 gang and still has MS-13 tattoos, including on his abdomen and “Mara Salvatrucha” on his chest.
If convicted, Martinez Chavez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years’ incarceration. The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The government’s case is being handled by EDNY’s Long Island Criminal Division.