MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that an MS-13 member was convicted of attempted murder yesterday for attempting to stab a 19-year-old man in April of 2017, while his co-defendants shot at and attacked the victim with a machete.
Miguel Urias Argueta, 20, was convicted by a jury of:
- Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (a B violent felony)
- Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree (a B violent felony)
- Attempted Assault in the First Degree (a C violent felony)
- Criminal Use of a Firearm in the Second Degree (a C violent felony)
- Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C felony)
- Attempted Assault in the Second Degree (an E felony)
The trial, before Judge Helene Gugerty, lasted six days and the jury deliberated for approximately eight hours. The defendant is due back for sentencing April 9 and faces a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 40 years in prison.
“For a year, this 19-year-old victim was threatened and harassed because he would not join MS-13 and when that didn’t work, they tried to kill him,” DA Singas said. “Fortunately, the victim survived the attack despite the shots fired and the attempts to kill him with a machete and a knife. This case is another example of MS-13’s signature brutality and the reason why I am committed to eradicating them from Nassau County.”
DA Singas said that on April 30, 2017, at approximately 12:30 a.m., the victim and his friend were smoking a cigarette and laughing outside of a home on Dover Street in Westbury. The defendant, along with co-defendants and brothers Jose and Fidel Hernandez, rode by on bikes three times and then came back minutes later. Fidel Hernandez asked the victim and his friend what they were laughing at – and the victim told them he could laugh at whatever he wanted. Fidel Hernandez then told them “the beast is going to take you” – an MS-13 reference meaning you are going to die.
Following that statement, an argument started, and Fidel Hernandez took out a machete that he swung several times at the victim, ripping his shirt and scratching his abdomen. During that time, Argueta had a knife and tried to stab at the victim, while Jose Hernandez took out a gun and fired several shots at the victim as he ran away. All the shots missed the victim, who knew Argueta from school.
This attack was the culmination of a year of threats made by the defendants to the victim, who refused to join MS-13 and had to eventually drop out of school because of the gang’s intimidation.
Following an investigation, all three of the defendants were arrested May 2, 2017 by members of the NCPD’s Gang Investigation Squad.
Jose Hernandez was sentenced to six years in prison before Supervising Judge Teresa Corrigan on January 23, 2019 after pleading guilty to two counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (a B violent felony).
Fidel Hernandez was sentenced to four years in prison before Supervising Judge Teresa Corrigan on January 30, 2019 after pleading guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (a C violent felony).
Assistant District Attorney Brittany Gurrieri of DA Singas’ Special Operations, Narcotics and Gangs Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Ariella Gilad of the NCDA’s County Court Trial Bureau are prosecuting this case. Argueta is represented by Chris Graziano, Esq., Jose Hernandez is represented by Jeff Groder, Esq. and Fidel Hernandez is represented by David Haber, Esq.