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‘They Keep Finding Bodies’: Gang Violence in Long Island Town Fuels Immigration Debate

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — Four dead teenagers. Two weeks. One town. And a ruthless gang, the authorities say, was most likely responsible for the toll. Again.

On Sept. 13, Nisa Mickens, 15, and her best friend, Kayla Cuevas, 16, were murdered, their battered bodies found near an elementary school here. A week later and just two miles away, the skeletal remains of two more teenagers — identified as Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15 — were found in the woods near a psychiatric hospital. Oscar had been missing since May, Miguel since February. Their deaths have been ruled homicides.

Brentwood, a hardscrabble town of nearly 60,000 on Long Island, 40 miles east of Manhattan, has reached another crisis point. For nearly two decades, MS-13, a gang with roots in Los Angeles and El Salvador, has been terrorizing the town, the authorities say, especially its young people. Since 2009, its members have been accused of at least 14 murders, court and police records show.

School officials are scrambling. Police officers are searching. Students are frightened. Parents are anguished.

Read more at NY Times

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