NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Police on Long Island say they arrested three known MS-13 gang members and two MS-13 associates who were trying to kidnap and murder a teen to elevate their status in the gang.
The arrests took place in Brentwood on Wednesday. Suffolk County Police say the group was trying to abduct and kill a 16-year-old boy.
The suspects range in age from 16-20. All but one are students at Brentwood High School and officials say they're from El Salvador and are here illegally.
The police department had been receiving complaints from the community on Tuesday about three to four Hispanic males in a van approaching and young Hispanic boys and harassing them.
Officials say in two of the incidents the gang members assaulted victims with bats.
Detectives cornered the van when it returned to the area on Wednesday afternoon.
The five suspects are being charged with a conspiracy in the second degree murder conspiracy felony.
It was unclear if any of the suspects had lawyers.
The gang, whose motto is "kill, rape, control," is known for its use of gruesome tactics, including hacking and stabbing its victims with machetes.
A series of MS-13 killings has shaken Long Island over the past two years with at least two dozen murders and many of the victims were teenagers.
Last month, the remains of Javier Castillo, 16, Kerin Pineda, 19, and Angel Soler, 16, were uncovered in wooded areas in Freeport. They were all believed to have been targeted by the gang.
In 2016, several teens who were high school students in Brentwood disappeared and were later found dead.