Feds Vow to 'Totally Dismantle' MS-13

19 November, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Hundreds of accused gang members and associates are under arrest but its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods. CBS NEWS

Homan vowed to continue going after the gang, saying it is a top ICE priority.

Of those arrested in the nationwide operation, 198 are foreign nationals and 16 are US citizens, federal officials said. Gang members from MS-13 have been implicated in several high-profile homicides around the United States.

"President Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to reduce crime and take down transnational criminal organizations, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of these objectives", Sessions said in announcing the arrests.

"Today I am pleased to announce the arrest of 267 MS-13 gang members and associates in conjunction of ICE's most recent targeted anti-gang effort known as 'Operation Raging Bull, '" Tom Homan, ICE deputy director, said at a press conference.

The gang was created in Los Angeles during the 1980s because the U.S government failed to enforce immigration laws, which allowed El Salvador youths to sneak into the United States.

A map shows the concentration of MS-13 gang arrests during "Operation Raging Bull", carried out from October 8 through November 11.

Of the 267 total arrests, ICE detained 214 in the United States (53 others were arrested in El Salvador).

Bourke did not have other details, including whether any of the people arrested had been in jail.

Joseph Kolb, a researcher who has extensively studied the gang, said the Trump administration has made some progress in uprooting transnational criminal organizations. Many of its members are immigrants from El Salvador.

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 is described as one of the most risky criminal organization in the country and the D.C. area is no exception.

The second phase took place between October 8 and November 11, in the USA, during which an additional 214 suspected gang members were arrested, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday. "We will not rest until every member, associate, and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes, and those in this country illegally have been removed".

"However, we are now combating the gang with renewed focus and an unprecedented level of cooperation among DHS's components, and our domestic and global partners", Homan said.

Last month, Sessions formally designated MS-13 as a "priority" for the department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, a collective of several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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