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Posted on: April 14, 2022

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Murder for 2017 Massapequa Park Preserve Attack

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Kevin Granados-Coreas used machete to kill victim after luring him into preserve

MINEOLA, N. Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Hempstead man pleaded guilty to murder and other charges for his role in the 2017 murder of Julio Cesar Espantzay-Gonzales in the Massapequa Park Preserve. 

Kevin Granados-Coreas, 23, a/k/a Lonely, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Helene Gugerty to Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony) and Conspiracy in the Second Degree (a B felony). The defendant is expected to be sentenced to 23 years to life in prison on May 13.

“Kevin Granados-Coreas worked with Julio Cesar Espantzay-Gonzales and befriended him at a restaurant at the Green Acres Mall. He then convinced the young man to join him in the Massapequa Park Preserve to smoke marijuana and hang out with girls,” DA Donnelly said. “The defendant marked the victim for death by telling his fellow MS-13 members that Espantzay-Gonzales was their ‘enemy.’ Once inside the park, the victim was mercilessly hacked to death and his body was dragged to nearby brush.”  

According to the investigation, 19-year-old Espantzay-Gonzales was reported missing on January 31, 2017. On March 23, 2017, his body was found by a dogwalker in the Massapequa Park Preserve. The victim was lured to the woods on January 28, 2017, by Kevin Granados-Coreas and others with promises of sex and marijuana. 

Once in the preserve Granados-Coreas, Antonio Cullal a/k/a Duke, Raul Ponce a/k/a Shadow, and Gerson Stanley Juarez a/k/a Angel Black, hacked Espantzay-Gonzales to death with machetes. They later disposed of the body under tree branches, leaves, and other brush. 

According to the indictment, Carlos Portillo a/k/a/ Pikachu and Roberto Abrego-Reyes a/k/a Splinter, allegedly ordered the murder of Espantzay-Gonzales because he was perceived to be an enemy of the gang.

The defendant was arrested in Hempstead by members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad on August 15, 2017. 

Cullal was previously sentenced to 20 years to life, while Ponce was sentenced to 32 years to life. 

The cases against Portillo and Abrego-Reyes are pending. 

Jared Rosenblatt, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and Deputy Chief Katie Zizza of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case. The defendant is represented by Martin Goldberg, Esq.

The charges against the other defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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