Who is Jairo Saenz? Why prosecutors are pushing for death penalty for brutal MS-13 leader accused of killing 7
Trump Administration's Justice Department has now ordered federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the 24-year-old MS-13 gang leader, charged for murdering seven people, including two teenage girls whom he murdered with a baseball bat.
If convicted for any of the seven murders, Jairo Saenz could be executed. Saenz is the second-in-command of the Brentwood/Central Islip chapter of the Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside clique. The department is also seeking the death punishment for his brother, Alexi Saenz. Trump has referred to Alexi as a "bloodthirsty MS-13 leader," the New York Post reports.
Jairo has reportedly taken part in several violent attacks inside the jail on his inmates and has also assaulted correction officers. In March 2017, he was brought into custody for a murder that took place on September 13, 2016, in Brentwood, New York, where he is accused of killing high school students, Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas.
In June 2018, he was charged in the killing of Oscar Acosta, who was beaten with tree limbs and was tied up by other members of the gang. Saenz and the members of his gang allegedly took Acosta in a car's trunk into a wooded area where he was stabbed and slashed to death with a machete. Acosta's body was discovered after four months.
In October 2016, he was involved in killing Javier Castillo, who was a member of an alleged rival gang, his body was recovered after a year. The gang then murdered Dewann Stacks, who also belonged to the rival gang and was killed with a baseball bat and machetes. According to a Newsday story, he was charged with the seventh murder of the 29-year-old Michael Johnson in November 2019.
In a July 2020 briefing Justice Bill Barr talked about the 'Joint Task Force Vulcan,' a group Barr set up to eradicate MS-13. He described MS-13 saying, ''This is in someway a death cult.'' "It's about the honor of being the most savage, blood-thirsty person you can be and building up the reputation as a killer," Barr added. He also stated that the "bloodthirsty" group is involved in human and narcotics trafficking to fund the operation. He then talked about the recent moves made by the Federal department to take down MS-13. The administration pinned terrorism charges on MS-13 leader Armando Eliu Melgar Diaz, who goes by the nickname of 'blue,' in a Virginia-based case.