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Cops: Arrest after body of missing teen, believed to be MS-13 victim, found buried

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — A suspect has pleaded not guilty in the killing of a Long Island teenager who police identified as a victim of the violent MS-13 gang. Newsday reports that 19-year-old Jose Lopez was arraigned Friday on one count of second-degree murder in the death of Josue Amaya Leonor.

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Leonor's body was found on May 30, two years after he was reported missing. The remains were buried in a wooded area of Nassau County, reports CBS New York. Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at the time there was "no doubt" the 19-year-old was a victim of MS-13. It's not clear how he was killed.

Police did not say if Lopez was a member of the gang. Information on an attorney for Lopez wasn't immediately available.

MS-13 is believed to be behind 25 killings on Long Island in the past two years and has become a prime target of President Donald Trump's administration.

Last month police made arrests in connection with the MS-13-linked murder of 16-year-old Angel Soler, whose remains were also found in a wooded area of Roosevelt last October, according to CBS New York.

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