nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

MS-13 Members Arrested in Operation Raging Bull

19 November 2017, 01:47 | Ruby West

Almost 300 MS-13 Gang Members Arrested in Nationwide Bust

MS-13 Prioritized for DOJ Enforcement, Says AG Sessions

Homan vowed to continue going after the gang, saying it is a top ICE priority. The Department of Justice estimates that there are as many as 10,000 MS-13 members across 40 states.

"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, and we will not be done until we totally dismantle this organization", he said.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested six alleged MS-13 members in Montgomery County as part of a national crackdown on the gang.

The Mara Salvatrucha gang, or MS-13, began in the 1980s in Los Angeles.

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

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 the 214 arrested were USA citizens and 198 were foreign nationals, of which only five had legal status to be in the country.

"MS-13 members use violence to defend and augment their power and territory", said David Rybicki, deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's criminal division border patrol. Sixty-four of those crossed the border illegally as unaccompanied alien children, noted Derek Brenner, the acting executive associate director of HSI.

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

MS-13 gang members are known for their tattooed bodies.

Individuals are reportedly confirmed gang members if they admit gang membership among other guidelines, many which are hard to prove. 11 across the United States, resulted in 214 arrests, officials said.

Of the 214 MS-13 members arrested nationally, the largest number were found on Long Island, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 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.

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

"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.

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