Big Round-Up Of MS-13 Gang Members In US

Jon Howard
November 19, 2017

Hundreds of accused gang members and associates are under arrest, but its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods. "Whether on the local, state or federal level, effective collaboration with other law enforcement partners is an essential part of the criminal investigations HSI conducts, such as the recently completed Operation Raging Bull".

He added, "This is a great operation, but we are not done and we will not be done until we totally dismantle this organization".

USA law enforcement officials announced on Thursday the arrest of 267 members of MS-13, a violent gang the Trump administration has vowed to get off America's streets.

MS-13 was founded in Los Angeles in the 1980s in part to protect immigrants fleeing civil war in El Salvador and has since grown into a sprawling cross-border criminal organization.

The initial, 18-month phase ended in September and netted 51 arrests in El Salvador, officials said at a news conference in Washington. "Sixteen of those arrested were US citizens and 198 were foreign nationals, of which only five had legal status to be in the United States".

Also shocking is how numerous arrested gang members weren't even allowed to be in the country in the first place. The second phase was conducted across the United States from October 8 to November 11 and concluded with 214 MS-13 arrests nationwide.

Operation Raging Bull – Nations of Origin chart – ICE
Operation Raging Bull – Nations of Origin chart – ICE

In a statement, the Justice Department said a majority of the 214 MS-13 members arrested in the United States were from El Salvador and that 64 members had illegally entered the United States as "unaccompanied alien children".

MS-13 gang members are known for their tattooed bodies. An estimated 10,000 members live in the United States, according to the Justice Department.

"We will not rest until every member, associate and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes", said Thomas Horman, director of ICE. The investigation focused on the gang's Stoners Locos clique, which had generated $1.9 million in illicit revenue since 2015 through crimes such as extortion, robbery, vehicle theft, money laundering, assault, and homicide, according to ICE.

Border Patrol Deputy Chief Scott Luck said his agents in the Rio Grande Valley Border Sector in Texas worked with the El Salvadoran joint border intelligence crew to detect, identify and collect information for confirmed MS-13 gang members within the United States.

"We are committed to dismantling violent, transnational gangs such as MS-13 and, when applicable, swiftly removing their members from the country", Benner said. Further operations such as Raging Bull will begin to chip away at this gang's operations in the country.

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