Kevin Granados-Coreas, a.k.a. “Lonely,” was sentenced Friday to 23 years to life in prison for his role in the 2017 murder of a Long Island man by MS-13 gang members.
His case highlights how the Biden administration’s immigration policy continues to allow an unknown number of gang members and violent criminals into our country, fueling crime and worsening the opioid epidemic. Gang members are often undocumented — that is, not vetted or legally present in the United States.
The Biden administration has been nothing short of “open borders,” with almost 2.2 million migrants apprehended in President Joe Biden’s first year and nearly 756,000 released into the United States since he took office.
The 23-year-old Granados-Coreas had pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy. District Attorney Anne Donnelly said, “The defendant told fellow MS-13 members that the victim was their ‘enemy.’ He helped to lure the young man into the preserve, and once inside, he wielded a machete and hacked [Julio Cesar] Espantzay-Gonzales to death.”
The indictment states Carlos Portillo, also known as “Pikachu,” and Roberto Abrego-Reyes, or “Splinter,” ordered the hit because they believed Espantzay-Gonzales was associated with a rival gang. The victim was lured in with promises of sex and marijuana.
In the same year, a similar incident occurred in Central Islip, where a group of young men was tricked into thinking they would smoke marijuana but were ultimately butchered by dozens of MS-13 gang members. The woman who ensnared the three young men was found guilty of various charges last April.
Areas of Long Island have become no-go zones in light of the gang presence and violence. These murders prompted former President Trump and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to visit the affected Long Island cities in 2018, magnifying the harm of unfettered immigration.
Lax Immigration Law Encourages Gangs
Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney, with a lengthy record of MS-13 prosecutions, told me,“I think the lax immigration laws obviously entice gang members to come to this country.”
“When you have an undefended southern border, you have a whole bunch of individuals, including a large number of gang members, coming through because there are established MS-13 gangs here,” said Tierney, whose district includes some of Long Island.
Of illegal immigrants, he added, “there really can’t be any vetting because these individuals are just that — undocumented.”
Oftentimes families struggle to pay coyotes that get them across the border, so children are used as collateral for the debts, held by gangs or coyotes until payment is fulfilled. Other times women sell themselves to pay the debt. MS-13 gangs work as satellites or “cliques” in communication with their leadership in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
“What’s happening is now the drug cartels hold sway at the border,” said Tierney. That has greatly contributed to violence and the opioid crisis on Long Island and elsewhere, he said. Migrants tend to be placed in underserved communities, resulting in even further straining of resources.
School class sizes have ballooned to accommodate migrants, he said. “The system can’t handle it, and it’s not fair to these communities.”
President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ answer is to speed up immigration proceedings. A massive $6.3 billion has already been allocated for Afghan refugee resettlement. All the while, flights and shuttles continue to deliver foreign migrants to upstate New York and eastern Long Island.