BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- Five young adults reputedly linked to MS-13 -- three gang members and two associates -- accused of attempting to kidnap and kill a Brentwood High School student pleaded not guilty before a judge Wednesday.
Prosecutors said 18-year-old Oscar Fuentes, 17-year-old Lilliana Villanueva, 18-year-old Vidal Contreras-Ortiz and 18-year-old Jorge Bermudez-Cedillos, all Brentwood High School students, and 20-year-old Miguel Rivera were going to kill the 16-year-old student to advance their standings in the MS-13 street gang. They're all being charged with attempted kidnapping and conspiracy.
Police said the five were witnessed by undercover detectives in early December assaulting the victim and trying to put him in a van near the high school. Prosecutors revealed Wednesday that inside the van, police discovered a knife, bat, tarp and duct tape.
Villanueva's attorney said her client knew nothing of the alleged plot and is not an MS-13 gang member.
"She's 17 years old," attorney Mary Beth Abbate said. "She's never been arrested before. She's this young scared girl, very scared."
Fuentes' attorney said his client is friends with the suspects from playing soccer.
"There was no intent to enter into an agreement to hurt or to kill anyone," attorney Pete Mayer said.
All the defendants are being held on various levels of bail, with the highest at $1 million. They're due back in court next month.
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Alleged MS-13 members plead not guilty in Long Island kidnapping, murder plot