Feds to seek death penalty against reputed MS-13 gang leader in murders of Brentwood teens

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- The federal government will seek the death penalty against the alleged MS-13 street gang leader in the 2016 killings of Brentwood High School teens Kayle Cuevas and Nisa Mickens who were "butchered with machetes," Attorney General Williams Barr said.

Mickens died the day before her sixteenth birthday. Prosecutors say she and her friend Cuevas were hunted down and murdered with baseball bats and machetes over a petty dispute between Cuevas and the alleged gang members in September 2016.

Alexi Saenz, 25, of Central Islip and known by the nickname "Blasty," is charged with the murders and 5 others on Long Island. If convicted at trial and put to death, it would mark the first federal execution involving a murder in New York since 1954.

RELATED: Brentwood mom says relief 'indescribable' after gang arrests (from 2017)

After the murders, President Trump met with the families of Mickens and Cuevas, inviting them to the State of the Union Address in 2018.

"Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as illegal unaccompanied alien minors and wound up in Kayla and Nisa's high school," President Trump said. "I am calling on congress to finally close the deadly loop-holes that have allowed MS-13 and other criminal gangs to break into our country."

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Candace McCowan has more on what President Trump said to the Long Island mothers.



In addition to the death penalty announcement, the feds have revealed charges against 8 adults and 2 minors linked to MS-13 in connec-tion with 6 other murders and other violent crimes in Nassau County.

"In 2017, the President directed the Department of Justice to go to war against MS-13, and we did just that," said Attorney General Barr.

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