Today’s news:

Two men convicted of killing gang partner in Far Rockaway

Police tape remains in the sand where Mario Alberto Canton Quijada was killed in Far Rockaway.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Two violent young men were convicted in federal court last week of murdering their fellow MS-13 member in Far Rockaway in 2010 for his reluctance to “put in work” for the gang, the U.S. attorney for Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island announced.

In March 2010, Heriberto “Boxer” Martinez, 26, and Carlos “Silencio” Ortega, 23, lured fellow gang member Mario Alberto Canton Quijada — aka “Baby Blue” — to the beach in Far Rockaway under false pretenses to attack rival gang members, but instead they killed him for his reluctance to “put in work” — or attack the gang’s enemies, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Loretta Lynch said.

Martinez and Ortega tried to shoot Quijada in the head with a handgun, but when it jammed, they hacked him to death with knives and machetes, Lynch said.

Both men, members of Long Island’s largest street gang, were convicted by a federal jury in Central Islip last week of murdering Quijada. Martinez was also convicted for the murders of a 19-year-old mother and a Long Island bouncer, and Ortega was convicted of killing a 21-year-old he believed to be a member of the Latin Kings, a rival gang.

“Instead of working to lift up their immigrant community, Martinez and Ortega chose to join the killing machine known as MS-13,” Lynch said. “They devoted their energies to spreading senseless violence through the neighborhoods of Long Island, destroying their victims’ lives and the peace in the community. The range of victims, from a bouncer doing his job, to the cases of mistaken identity, to the fellow gang member who didn’t want to kill, to a young mother and her toddler, underscores these defendants’ callous disregard for human life.

“They will soon spend the rest of their own lives contemplating the choices they made, she added. “This case demonstrates the ongoing commitment of this office and the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force to combat the violence perpetrated by the MS-13 and other gangs.”

Both men face mandatory life sentences when they go before U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco Sept. 10.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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