An alleged member of the brutal MS-13 gang has been charged in connection with two murders of young men on Long Island.
Kevin Morales-Lopez, 20, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder during his arraignment at First Discovery Court in Hempstead, New York, on Friday.
Morales-Lopez is accused of playing a role in the violent death of 16-year-old Angel Soler, whom they suspected was in the rival gang of 18th Street.
Suspected MS-13 member Kevin Lopez-Moralez, 20, is seen as being driven out of the Nassua County Sheriff's Office on Friday on his way to his arraignment.
Morales-López has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder on Long Island
The 20-year-old (left and right) is suspected of helping kill Angel Soler, 16, and Josue Amaya Leonor, 19.
Morales-Lopez on Friday pleaded not guilty to the charges against him
On July 21, 2017, the child was reported missing by his family, and his body was found smashed to pieces with machetes near Roosevelt Preserve in October 2017.
Four other alleged gang members have been arrested and charged in Soler's murder, including Dennis Lopez, David Sosa Guevara, Víctor López and Josue Antonio Figueroa-Velasquez.
The Nassau County Police Department said that Morales-Lopez also related to the murder of Josue Amaya Leonor, 19, who was also killed with machetes and then buried near the Reserve in September 2016.
The remains of Leonor were unearthed in the wooded area on May 30, 2018.
Soler (left) was reported missing by his family on July 21, 2017, and his body was found shattered last October. Leonor (right) was killed in September 2016 and her body parts were recovered in May 2018
The remains of the victims were found in the forest in the Roosevelt Reserve (pictured)
Police believe that seven members of the famous street gang may have participated in the murder of Leonor, whom they also suspected belonged to the gang of 18th Street.
The 19-year-old was lured to the forest near Roosevelt, New York, with the promise of marijuana and was then killed with machetes, according to police.
José López (pictured), 19, has also been accused of murdering Leonor
Both Soler and Leonor were students and friends at Freeport High School. The police did not say if the two were in a gang.
It is believed that the seven suspects are in Hollywood Clique of MS-13, reported ABC 7 NY.
Another suspect in the death of Leonor, identified as José Daniel López, 19, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, who was charged with murder in the second degree on Thursday.
He pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Jeffrey Groder, says there is no physical evidence linking his client to the murder.
"We're still looking to accuse people of Leonor's murder," said Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commander of Nassau County homicides. "But I think we've taken a big part of them, I think we have them on the defensive."
It is believed that MS-13 is behind 25 murders on Long Island for the past two years.
The gang has become a main objective of the administration of President Donald Trump