Skip to comments.Law enforcement agencies take on MS-13
Posted on 08/18/2005 9:45:42 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) - Law enforcement officials from five countries said Wednesday they are struggling to deal with the street gang called MS-13 that is plaguing communities from the United States to Central America.
A meeting at FBI headquarters launched an unprecedented effort to make inroads against what officials called "a culture of violence."
"We're trying to build networks of communication for sharing historical and current data on MS-13 members," said Deborah Strebel Pierce, deputy assistant director for the FBI criminal investigative division.
Shorthand for Mara Salvatrucha, which loosely translates to guerrilla gang, MS-13 is a Latin American gang founded in Los Angeles by refugees from El Salvador. Members also come from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Never before has there been such an international law enforcement effort targeting a street gang, which in the case of MS-13 has mushroomed into the size of a small army.
El Salvador is trying to dismantle an MS-13 structure that numbers in the thousands, Douglas Omar Garcia Funes of that country's national police force told reporters during the daylong meeting.
U.S. authorities estimate MS-13 has some 10,000 members in more than 30 states.
Three members of the Los Angeles crew moved to the Washington area in 1993 to recruit, and by this past spring there were some 1,500 members in the area, an FBI official recently told Congress.
The FBI is coordinating a law enforcement investigative effort that other agencies and countries are carrying out. Pierce said a rapid flow of information among all the participants in the law enforcement campaign is a key to reining in the gang.
Police believe the stabbings of six teenagers last week in the Washington suburbs were the work of MS-13.
The gang has carried out beheadings and grenade attacks in Central America and hacked enemies with machetes in cities along the East Coast in the United States.
Note: The following text is an exact quote:
August 29, 2005
ICE-LED, MULTI-AGENCY GANG CRACKDOWN LEADS TO ARREST OF 24 MEMBERS & ASSOCIATES OF MS-13 IN SEATTLE AREA
Local MS-13 leader is among those arrested in latest Operation Community Shield action
SEATTLE A total of 24 members and associates of the violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang were arrested here last week on a range of criminal and administrative charges in a coordinated multi-agency enforcement operation. Among the 20 foreign nationals and four United States citizens taken into custody was Yoni Gonzales, a known MS-13 gang leader in the Seattle area.
The week-long operation was organized by ICE as part of Operation Community Shield,a n ongoing national ICE anti-gang initiative designed to disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute violent gang members and their organizations. Other agencies participating in the Seattle operation included the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Washington Department of Corrections; the Seattle Police Department; the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force; and the United States Attorneys Office.
The majority of the men arrested during last weeks operation had criminal histories, including prior convictions for narcotics distribution and assault. Almost all of the subjects admitted being members of MS-13 in the Seattle area and had tattoos showing their gang affiliation. The non-citizens taken into custody included foreign nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
We have a message for the violent street gang members in America: stopping your violence and criminal activities is high on our list of ICEs priorities, said Brad Bench, acting special agent-in-charge for ICE investigations in Seattle. Working with our law enforcement counterparts, we are going to use every tool at our disposal to take these criminals off the streets and break the cycle of gang-related violence that is threatening the safety of our communities.
In January, ICE launched Operation Community Shield, a national anti-gang initiative that brings all of ICEs law enforcement powers to bear in the fight against violent gangs. Initially, Operation Community Shield targeted members of MS-13. In May, ICE expanded Operation Community Shield to include all criminal street gangs and prison gangs with foreign-born members.
To date, Operation Community Shield has resulted in the arrest of more than 1,260 gang members and associates nationwide, including approximately 632 members of MS-13. Of all those arrested, a total of 276 have been charged with criminal violations while a total of 986 have been charged with administrative immigration violations.
# ICE #
3,837 posted on 08/30/2005 6:23:21 PM PDT by Cindy
NOTE: The following text is an exact quote:
September 03, 2005
Immigrant gang suspected of al-Qaida ties
MS-13 update from AP, with thanks to Judy:
Midwestern farmlands seem an unlikely hideout for Osama bin Laden's hired hands, but an ongoing federal crackdown reveals the increased presence here of a notoriously violent gang with suspected links to al-Qaida.
Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a gang founded in El Salvador and known for smuggling drugs and immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, could be bringing terrorists with them.
"The al-Qaida, from what we understand, has been meeting with them in Central America," said Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees national security.
Ortiz testified in March that al-Qaida has offered MS-13 about $250,000 to smuggle "high value al-Qaida operatives across the border."
"Only God knows who or what they've been able to bring in" to the United States, Ortiz told The Associated Press.
The FBI estimates up to 30,000 MS-13s are in the United States.
Posted at September 3, 2005 08:16 AM
ON THE NET...
Aim directly between the M and the S and I think that should take one down nicely.
Good afternoon Ern.
Yep, I updated this thread this morning.
Note: The following text is an exact quote:
CRACKING DOWN ON VIOLENT GANGS
International Effort Nets 650 Arrests
In cooperation with our local, state, federal, and international partners, the FBIs MS-13 National Gang Task Force (NGTF) coordinated a series of arrests and crackdowns across the nation and throughout Mexico and Central America this week. The operation resulted in a series of arrests, searches, detentions, and other law enforcement actions. At the conclusion of the operation, more than 650 individuals had been taken into custody.
Law enforcement agencies in five nations participated in the operation targeting members of Mara Salvatrucha-13 and similar violent gangs. Most of the arrests were made Wednesday, with more than 6,400 police officers, federal agents and other officials taking part in 12 states and five countries: the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
The gangs are organizing internationally, and so are we, said Chris Swecker, FBI assistant director in charge of our Criminal Investigative Division, discussing the operations Thursday. He called the operations historic and unprecedented in scope.
In the United States, 73 individuals were arrested on a range of charges, including immigration violations. In El Salvador, more than 237 individuals were arrested, in addition to 162 in Honduras, 98 in Guatemala and 90 in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Police in each country conducted separate operations coordinated through the FBIs MS-13 NGTF.
Law enforcement officials recovered at least one weapon possibly linked to a murder during the raids, as well as numerous other weapons and drugs, Swecker said.
The FBIs MS-13 NGTF was established last year to help coordinate and focus law enforcement efforts to combat MS-13 and similar gangs. There are an estimated 10,000 MS-13 members in the United States and an additional 50,000 in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Members of MS-13 have been identified in 33 states, the District of Columbia, Mexico and Central America. In the United States, the largest concentrations are in California, Northern Virginia, and New York.
We are very happy with the cooperative effort by the U.S. in fighting the so-called Mara, or gangs, said Hector Salazar-Ochoa, captain in the Guatemalan National Civil Police. He and representatives from the other participating nations appeared with Swecker at FBI headquarters to announce results of the operations.
The ultimate goal of the task force is to dismantle MS-13 and disrupt the threat it poses to our domestic and national security, Swecker said. The arrestsas well as searches, detentions, and other actions taken this weekwere not a culmination of a particular investigation, but part of an ongoing battle against the gangs.
In the United States, the arrests involved over 625 officers from more than 30 state and local law enforcement agencies and officials from the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Customs and Border Patrol; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Additionally, agents from the Department of States Diplomatic Security Service provided assistance in the coordination of the foreign operations.
By bringing together resources from the local, state, federal and international law enforcement community, all levels of U.S. law enforcement and our international partners are working together and sharing information, Swecker said. This represents a beginning, another step in an ongoing national and international effort to go on offense and to strike back against gang violence.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
U.S. sweep aimed at Salvadoran gang here
"Immigration agents targeted South Park area"
By HECTOR CASTRO
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
ARTICLE SNIPPET: "MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, has developed a reputation across the United States for brutal slayings and connections to other criminal enterprises, ranging from drug dealing to immigrant trafficking.
There are believed to be fewer than 50 MS-13 members in the Puget Sound region, according to data gathered by the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. Two dozen men were detained in the August sweep."
Note: The following post is an exact quote:
Forbes targets immigrants in gangs (MS-13 in Va.)
The Washington Times ^ | 9-15-05 | Gary Emerling
Posted on 09/15/2005 11:55:01 AM PDT by JZelle
U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes said gang-related violence, such as the 2002 rapes of two deaf teenagers by MS-13 members, has spurred him to combat such activity with legislation that would crack down on immigrants involved in criminal gangs. "We heard of kids coming home from school and they can't even go outside; they have to stay hunkered down because of the gang activity out there," the Virginia Republican said. "As we saw that we realized we had to do something or it was going to be totally out of control." Mr. Forbes has introduced a bill that would allow the government to deport aliens and immigrants who are not permanent residents of the United States and belong to criminal gangs. He said hearing about the gang-rape of the two girls -- one of whom was wheelchair-bound and suffering from cerebral palsy -- in a Boston park by up to six youths three years ago pushed him to introduce the legislation. "The country's thrust up to this point in fighting gang activity is wait until they kill somebody, hurt somebody or rape somebody and then go after them," he said. "We just don't find that" working.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
have links for terrorism in general, and gangs in particular.
Besides MS-13, note SUR-13.
Thanks for the info/
SUR-13 is different than MS-13, that is (sur) south 13 and then there is norte 14, and then there is MS-18, etc...all gangbangers, just different divisions, if you will.
Thanks backhoe and Ernerst for your ongoing interest in this topc -- PRO-AMERICAN GUYS...I appreciate it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.