Crackdown on MS-13 gang nets more than 200 arrests
Underscoring its promise earlier this year to crack down on a brutal gang, the Trump adminstration on Thursday announced the arrests of dozens of members of MS-13.
“Operation Raging Bull,” conducted Oct. 8-Nov. 11 across the United States, resulted in 214 arrests, officials said.
The operation was led by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in conjunction with local and federal officials.
It was the second phase of a two-part operation. Authorities made 53 arrests in Venezuela in September after an 18-month investigation.
“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.
More than 1,200 gang members have been convicted so far this year, and about 4,000 have been arrested and charged, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions promised an all-out assault on the violent gang last month, designating it a “priority” for the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
“They leave misery, devastation and death in their wake. They threaten entire governments. They must be and will be stopped,” the attorney general said in Philadelphia last month.
In the most recent roundup, charges included murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, firearms offenses and assault, with roughly 60 arrests being illegal border crossings by unaccompanied children, officials said.
The gang originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s, then entrenched itself in Central America when its leaders were deported.
MS-13’s motto is “mata, viola, controla” – which means “kill, rape, control,” according to Robert Hur, a Justice Department official.
Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and the Associated Press contributed to this report.