US Announces Arrests of 267 MS-13 Gang Members in Latest Sweep


US Announces Arrests of 267 MS-13 Gang Members in Latest Sweep

Sixteen of the gang members arrested in the USA were American citizens.

The sting was a collaboration between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice and led by federal, state and local enforcement.

"MS-13 is true to its motto of 'kill, rape, control, '" he said, adding, "These arrests announced today represent a victory for the rule of law".

The arrests were the second phase of an operation dubbed "Operation Raging Bull" that netted 53 gang members in El Salvador in September after an 18 month investigation.

We will not be done until we have totally dismantled this organization.

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 only street gang designated by the Treasury Department as a transnational criminal organization, MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, boasts almost 10,000 members in the United States, mostly immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Only 16 of those arrested in the US were USA citizens and an additional five had legal authorization to be in the country. More than 50 people were arrested in El Salvador during the first phase. It resulted in 214 arrests-including 16 USA citizens and 198 foreign nationals- with alleged MS-13 ties, Reuters reports.

In February, Trump directed the Justice Department to redouble its efforts to root out MS-13 and other transnational criminal organizations.

Significantly, Benner said, 64 of those arrested had crossed the border illegally in the wave of unaccompanied minors who have been streaming into the United States from Central America in large numbers since 2014.

"MS-13 maintains sophisticated global network that supports its involvement in a wide range of criminal activities-in this country and others", said Thomas Homan, ICE deputy director and senior official performing the duties of the director.

"Operation Raging Bull" was carried out in two parts.

The Oct. 8 to November 11 sweep was the second phase of Operation Raging Bull, which had previously netted 53 arrests in El Salvador, officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency told reporters.

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

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has described MS-13 as "one of the most risky criminal organizations in the United States today".

"Definitely some UACs end up being bad people and enter the country to do bad things", said Homan, who is serving as acting ICE director and was nominated on Tuesday by Trump to head the agency.



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