QUEENS — Two men with ties to the notorious MS-13 gang were arrested early Friday on Long Island for the murder of a father in Murray Hill in May, police said — and a top NYPD official says they're concerned the violent gang could be spreading across the city.
Roberto “Splinter” Abrego Reyes , 23, and Jose “Smoker” Alvarenga Ramirez, 27, were arrested at 2 a.m. in Hempstead, Long Island, where their MS-13 crew is headquartered, according to Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
They were both charged in the murder of Fernando Chavez, 39, who was shot in the chest outside a Murray Hill deli on May 30. Officials believe he was also affiliated with the gang, based off his "13" tattoo.
"We believe it’s gang-related, some issue within the MS-13 gang," Boyce said at an unrelated press conference at police headquarters.
The confrontation may have started at a nearby bar, although they're still investigating the motive, he said.
He said that MS-13, which has a large and violent presence on Long Island, could be working its way back to the five boroughs.
"We’re still peeling this thing back. There may be arrests. This set, and we do have an MS-13 set in this city in South Jamaica, this looks like it was in Hempstead," he said.
Police are also investigating a body found in Alley Pond Park in May as being related to MS-13.
“We’re concerned, scared is not the word, that this is spreading," Boyce said of the gang.