New York prison officials released a reported MS-13 member despite a federal murder charge and federal authorities wishing to keep him behind bars.
Ever Morales-Lopez, 26, was released on Sept. 3 from the Washington Correctional Facility in Comstock. Nicknamed “White Boy” and “Lenky,” Morales-Lopez received early parole for a 2018 conspiracy conviction, the New York Post reported.
A federal arrest warrant for Morales-Lopez was issued to keep him in prison after he and seven other suspected gang members were indicted this summer on racketeering charges that include six murders, two attempted murders, and a kidnapping conspiracy, a source told the New York Post.
The FBI learned of his release five days after the fact, with a Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesperson saying prison officials never received a physical warrant to keep him behind bars.
The FBI, however, was able to arrest him 12 hours after learning of his release, and he is being held without bail after a judge found he is at “serious risk” of flight and a “danger to the community.”
Murder in aid of racketeering, one of Morales-Lopez’s charges, carries the death penalty or a life sentence. He allegedly was a lookout during the murder of a rival gang member, Kerin Pineda, in 2016. Suspected MS-13 members reportedly lured Pineda to the woods and hacked him to death with machetes before burying him in a pre-dug grave.
It’s unclear when he is due back in court, according to the New York Post.