Enrique (Turkey) Portillo, a member of the notorious international gang MS-13, has pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including racketeering and the brutal murders of Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15, in Long Island in 2016. Portillo is the first suspect in the gang to admit to these killings. He also confessed to four attempted murders and an arson incident that resulted in a car explosion in a residential driveway.
According to federal prosecutors, the Saenz brothers, Alexi and Jairo, who are leaders of the gang, ordered the girls’ slaughter as revenge for a previous altercation between Kayla and her friends with MS-13 members at Brentwood High School. On September 13, 2016, Portillo, Selvin Chavez, and two other juvenile gang members embarked on a hunt for rivals. They spotted Kayla and Nisa walking together on Stahley Street in Brentwood, which led them to target both girls. The Saenz brothers authorized the killings.
Portillo and the other gang members approached the girls in a car driven by Chavez. Nisa’s mutilated body was found on the street shortly after, while Kayla’s body was discovered behind a nearby house the following day.
In addition to these murders, Portillo admitted to the killing of Dewann Stacks in October 2016, where he beat and hacked Stacks to death with two accomplices. He also confessed to the January 2017 shooting death of Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, who was mistaken for a rival gang member due to the number “18” on his football jersey.
While incarcerated at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Portillo attempted to kill two fellow inmates.
The Saenz brothers, accused of running the Sailors clique and being connected to seven killings, are currently facing charges authorized by then-Attorney General William Barr in 2020. Their defense attorneys have requested a reconsideration of the charges from the current Attorney General, Merrick Garland.
Earlier in August, Melvi Amador-Rios, another MS-13 leader who headed the Centrales Locos Salvatruchas clique in Queens, was convicted by a federal jury on a charge of murder in aid of racketeering, carrying a mandatory life sentence. Amador-Rios ordered the murder of a 16-year-old member of his own gang and the near-killing of another 16-year-old believed to be a rival gang member.