4 Charged After Man Brutally Murdered in Hudson Valley
A group of alleged gang members are accused of brutally murdering a man in a Hudson Valley state forest and burying the corpse in a wooded area.
On Thursday in Eastern District of New York, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging 23-year-old Israel Mendiola Flores, 19-year-old Sergio Gerardo Herrera-Hidalgo, all from Kingston and 19-year-old Yanki Misael Cruz-Mateo from Queens with murder conspiracy.
On Oct 25, 2017, the men, who were part of the 18th Street Gang, murdered another 18th Street gang member who was suspected of being an informant for law enforcement, police say.
According to the indictment, Cruz-Mateo lured a fellow 18th Street gang member to travel with him by bus from New York City to Kingston. Once they arrived in Kingston, Cruz-Mateo and the victim met with Herrera-Hidalgo who escorted them to Turkey Point State Forest, a 140-acre wooded park and swamp bordering the western bank of the Hudson River in Saugerties. Cruz-Mateo, Herrera-Hidalgo and Flores then stabbed the victim repeatedly, killing the unnamed victim.
After the alleged murder, Cruz-Mateo returned to Queens and sent a video recording of the attack to another person.
The video, which was obtained by the FBI, shows Flores slashing the victim across his neck and Cruz-Mateo severing the victim’s ear, officials say.
Cruz-Mateo, Flores and Herrera-Hidalgo buried the victim in a makeshift grave in a wooded area in Kingston, according to the indictment.
Cristian Perez, 20, of Kingston was also indicted for allegedly helping Cruz-Mateo evade capture by law enforcement after the alleged murder.
If convicted Cruz-Mateo, Herrera-Hidalgo and Flores each face life imprisonment. Perez faces up to 15 years’ imprisonment.
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