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

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

Hundreds of accused gang members and associates are under arrest, but its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna said at the news conference his agency helped look for MS-13 members fraudulently seeking immigration benefits and seeking asylum. HSI has arrested some 7,000 MS-13 members since 2005.

The agency announced Thursday that 267 people were arrested in its "Operation Raging Bull", which targeted suspected members of the worldwide gang.

"This is a great operation, but we are not done, and we will not be done until we totally dismantle this organization", he said.

More than 200 MS-13 gang members were arrested in a major sweep called "Operation Raging Bull", the Trump administration announced Thursday.

MS-13 was founded in Los Angeles in the 1980s in part to protect immigrants fleeing civil war in El Salvador and has since grown into a sprawling cross-border criminal organization. Martinez, 21, was arrested on November 1, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston.

A few weeks ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions deemed the MS-13 a priority for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). The first phase involved 53 arrests in El Salvador in September after an 18-month investigation.

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.

In February, Trump directed the Justice Department to redouble its efforts to root out MS-13 and other transnational criminal organizations. The remaining 198 were foreign nationals, of which only five were legally allowed to be in the U.S. Sixty-four of them illegally crossed the border as unaccompanied alien children, the press release claimed.

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.

Five members of MS-13's Sailor's clique in Maryland who were arrested are alleged to have participated in three murders and had planned a fourth, between July 2016 and June 2017, said Rybicki. 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.

Homan said MS-13 maintains a "sophisticated global network" that targets children.

Trump-who hopes to "destroy" the violent gang-came one step closer, as authorities announced the conclusion of the second phase of "Operation Raging Bull".



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