One of Riverhead’s ‘most wanted’ gets busted


An El Salvadorian immigrant is being held on $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty to raping a 6-year-old female in Riverhead several years ago, authorities said.
Jose Benigno Sanchez-Gonzalez, 24, of Aspen Drive in Mastic Beach was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with first-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. He had been featured on Riverhead’s Most Wanted poster for several months, police said.
The crime was first reported by the victim’s parents in October 2009, Riverhead Detective Sergeant Joseph Loggia said.
At his arraignment in Riverhead Justice Court Tuesday morning, Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez, wearing a black and red Fila shirt and jeans and with his hands in cuffs behind his back, hung his head while answering Judge Allen Smith’s questions through a translator.
He told the judge he was not an American citizen and worked as a migrant worker. He said he had lived in New York State for the past 8 years, though he did not have a permanent address.
Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez surrendered his passport and El Salvador identification over to police. He is currently being held at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside on cash bail. Judge Smith said the bail was set high because Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez is a flight risk due to his ties in El Salvador. He could face additional charges if indicted by a grand jury, Judge Smith said.
Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez was arrested by town police at the home he shares with his girlfriend Tuesday with help from members of the U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force on a warrant from Riverhead Town, officials said.
Town police recently requested help in the case from the task force and an investigation lead to Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez’ arrest at his home without incident, police said.
“We had trouble locating him,” Det. Sgt Loggia said. “[But] the subject was known from the beginning.”
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