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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Five defendants linked to the MS-13 gang have pleaded not guilty to an attempt to kidnap and murder a 16-year-old boy on Long Island.

Suffolk County prosecutors say the three known gang members and two MS-13 associates pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy and attempted kidnapping. Four of the suspects are Brentwood High School students.

Prosecutors say the five were looking to elevate their status in the gang by carrying out a murder.

Undercover officers were in the Brentwood area earlier this month after receiving complaints that men in a van were harassing boys. The officers witnessed the attempted abduction and arrested the young men.

There have been 25 suspected MS-13 killings on Long Island in the past two years.