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An illegal immigrant gangbanger who entered the country as a kid under an Obama amnesty initiative has plead guilty to the brutal machete murder of a New York teen. The native of El Salvador, Samuel Ponce, came to the U.S. at the age of 13 as part of a program that has welcomed hundreds of thousands of mostly Central American minors via the Mexican border. The government classifies them as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and most come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The number of UAC in U.S. custody more than doubled in the last few months following a big drop during the Trump administration and the government is currently housing more 21,000. President Trump tried to control the damage with an order instructing federal agents to stop giving minors special protections when they are processed. In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration expelled nearly 9,000 migrant children under an emergency health order.

Like many UAC granted asylum, Ponce was released to a relative in Long Island, New York after a brief time in a taxpayer-funded shelter. He joined the famously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants that has spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. At 15 Ponce, also known as “Little Chickie,” and his fellow MS-13 brothers savagely murdered a Uniondale teen, Bryan Lemus, with a machete in the Massapequa Park Preserve. The victim was walking his dog when he was lured into the preserve, a 432-acre county property with nature trails, swamps, and streams. Police said in a local news report that Lemus was associated with the gang but some members felt he was an enemy of their clique and “he was marked for death.”

The teen’s body was not found for years, until homicide detectives discovered it in a shallow grave while searching the area. The crime occurred in 2016, the body was recovered in 2019, and in 2020 four MS-13 gang members, including Ponce’s brother, Raul, got indicted by the Nassau County District Attorney. Samuel Ponce had already been charged and arrested. Just days ago, he plead guilty to second degree murder, according to a statement issued by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. “Bryan Lemus was just 18 years old when he was viciously attacked and violently murdered with machetes by the defendant and multiple MS-13 members,” the county’s top prosecutor, Joyce Smith, said in the statement. Ponce, who is 20 years old, was arrested on September 17, 2019. Because he was only 15 when he committed the atrocious crime, there is a cap on the maximum sentence, 15 years to life in prison.

The criminal path Ponce embarked on after entering the U.S. illegally is not uncommon among the scores of UAC that have benefitted from Uncle Sam’s welcome matt. When the barrage of UAC began in 2014, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. The Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently confirmed that MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state under Obama’s disastrous program. It has ignited a national crisis because the Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like the MS-13 are responsible for most violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs.

Just a few years ago, the steady flow of illegal immigrant minors energized a Maryland MS-13 sector to the point that the gang terrorized a public middle school less than 10 miles from the nation’s capital. A lengthy mainstream newspaper article reported that teachers are afraid, drugs are sold, gang graffiti litter the area surrounding the campus and gang-related fights are a daily occurrence. Dozens of teachers, parents and students interviewed for the story confirmed MS-13 aggressively recruits students recently arrived from Central America and an eighth grader said the gang “dominates the school.”

Besides curbing the number of UAC entering the U.S., the Trump administration launched a special task force to gut the MS-13, the nation’s deadliest street gang, and key leaders were taken down. For the first time, an MS-13 chief was federally charged with terrorism-related offenses and the powerful Hollywood leadership was taken down. The administration also pursued the death penalty against a high-ranking MS-13 operative. In New York, where the Ponce brothers operated, the Trump administration indicted an MS-13 director, Alexi Saenz, accused of committing seven murders, including two high school students with a machete and baseball bat.

Author: Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach. Visit Judicial Watch at https://www.judicialwatch.org/