ICE touts arrests of alleged MS-13 gang members

Nov 19, 2017, 01:48
ICE touts arrests of alleged MS-13 gang members

Trump has made confronting the gang a top priority.

The operation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, with the help from federal, state, local and worldwide law enforcement partners. It has led to more than 200 MS-13 arrests nationwide.

"This successful operation continues our efforts to attack MS-13 - domestically and overseas - disrupting their financial networks", he continued, adding that MS-13 is involved in a wide range of "criminal activities" including human trafficking, murder and prostitution.

"This is a great operation, but we are not done", Homan said, NBC News reports.

Operation Matador, a joint law enforcement effort led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations team, is cracking down on MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, and other trans-national gangs.

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MS-13 formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s as Salvadorans fled a civil war.

U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Scott Luck explained that the operation worked with El Salvadoran intelligence agencies to identify people with links to MS-13.

Of the 267 total arrests, ICE detained 214 in the United States (53 others were arrested in El Salvador). "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". The second phase was executed in the United States between October 8 and November 11, and the tally of arrests rose by 214 across the country.

There are about 30,000 MS-13 members worldwide, including 10,000 in the United States, according to information provided by the Justice Department. Sixty-four of those crossed the border illegally as unaccompanied alien children, noted Derek Brenner, the acting executive associate director of HSI. The gang has since spread throughout the United States and Central America, with the operational center being in El Salvador.

You can read the Department of Justice Press Release here.

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"These 267 arrests are the next step toward making this country safer by taking MS-13 off of our streets for good", Sessions said.

"With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most risky criminal organizations in the United States today", U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

"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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Operation Raging Bull involved cooperation at the federal, state, local and global level.

But gang membership is not a crime, and the agents did not have a criminal warrant.

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"MS-13 has always been a priority for ICE", said Thomas Homan, ICE Deputy Director.

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