Gang leader Ediberto Santana, AKA “Flaco Veneno,” leader of the Trinitarios gang, faces life behind bars for deadly violence

Ediberto Santana, leader of "Trinitarios", was sentenced to life imprisonment for three homicides in NY. Under his leadership the gang members committed a "near constant series of violent crimes" over the course of several years.

Ediberto Santana, leader of the “Trinitarios” gang, was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday in connection with three homicides in New York, two of them teenage victims.

Santana, aka “Flaco Veneno,” headed the gang’s “Sunset” group from at least 2010 through 2019, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. During that time, he ordered acts of violence that ended in the deaths of teenagers Dennis Marquez (16), Michael Beltre (17), and Rafael Alam (22).

The 33-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to extort with murder as a special sentencing factor, reported Pix11. Prosecutors said that under his leadership, the gang members committed a “near-constant series of violent crimes” over the course of several years.

While nothing can make the families and communities of Dennis Marquez, Michael Beltre, and Rafael Alam whole, we hope today’s sentencing will be a measure of closure and justice for them,” Williams said. “We are committed to addressing gang violence in our communities and holding accountable those who instigate such violence.”

Marquez was stabbed to death on March 13, 2011, just months after moving from the Dominican Republic to the U.S., prosecutors in The Bronx said earlier. The teenager was stopped by members of the “Trinitarios” gang when he tried to leave a house party that day. They attacked and stabbed him to death. Beltre and Alam died in the fall of 2013.

Santana and the “Trinitarios” were also linked to the high-profile case of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz, a 15-year-old killed “by mistake” when a group attacked him with a knife and machete in a bodega in The Bronx in 2018.

Santana was among seven arrested in a January 2020 raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the New York Police Department (NYPD), and the New York State Police (NYSP).