Four alleged MS-13 gang members who were under federal investigation were taken into custody on Wednesday after New York Police Department (NYPD) officers saw them carrying a long object and followed them to discover the suspicious-looking item was actually a woman’s body wrapped in a blanket, police and law enforcement sources told Fox News.
NYPD officers were working with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents early Wednesday when the officers saw four men exit a building in Far Rockaway, Queens, around 1:50 a.m., police and law enforcement sources said. The men appeared to be carrying a “large, unknown object” and placed it in the trunk of a Nissan Altima, the sources added.
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After seeing the suspicious activity, police followed the vehicle for just under a mile before conducting a traffic stop on the Nassau Expressway near Bayview Avenue on Long Island.
When the NYPD officers approached the car, they smelled an odor and discovered a “human body with severe trauma” wrapped in a blanket in the trunk, sources said.
Medics pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Police have not yet released her identity.
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A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told Fox News all four men were suspected MS-13 gang members and were being looked at as part of the ongoing HSI investigation. The source did not know whether the men were in the country legally.
The source confirmed to Fox News that the acts of violence being investigated were suspected of being related to MS-13.
A spokesperson told Fox News HSI’s New York office was working with the NYPD and law enforcement partners at the time and “made several arrests this morning pursuant to a long-term investigation into certain acts of violence in the Queens, New York area.” The spokesperson could not immediately provide additional information.
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No charges were filed against the men as of Wednesday afternoon, police said.