Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

In Crackdown on MS-13, ICE Arrests Six in Montgomery County

In Crackdown on MS-13, ICE Arrests Six in Montgomery County

The arrests were part of a nationwide operation dubbed "Operation Raging Bull", which netted a total of 267 arrests.

Of those arrested in the nationwide operation, 198 are foreign nationals and 16 are USA citizens, federal officials said. HSI has arrested some 7,000 MS-13 members since 2005.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to crack down on criminal gangs, especially MS-13, and has referred to gang members as "animals" and "thugs".

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

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested dozens of alleged MS-13 members in NY as part of a crackdown on the gang, officials said.

The gang was created in Los Angeles during the 1980s because the U.S government failed to enforce immigration laws, which allowed El Salvador youths to sneak into the United States. Authorities made 53 arrests in Venezuela in September after an 18-month investigation.

A few weeks ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions deemed the MS-13 a priority for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF).

Among those arrested, 16 were citizens, while the other 198 were foreign nationals.

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"Today I am pleased to announce the arrest of 267 MS-13 gang members and associates in conjunction of ICE's most recent targeted anti-gang effort known as 'Operation Raging Bull, '" Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said, NBC News reports. Only 5 of those born overseas had legal status and 64 had crossed the border illegally as minors, they said.

Trump has blamed what he calls the lax immigration policies of the Obama administration for allowing gang members to enter the United States illegally as unaccompanied alien minors.

There are about 30,000 MS-13 members worldwide, including 10,000 in the United States, according to information provided by the Justice Department.

"So we'll continue to look at arresting every member, every leader and every associate of this criminal gang", Homan added. 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.

"We are committed to dismantling violent, transnational gangs such as MS-13 and, when applicable, swiftly removing their members from the country", Benner said.

"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.

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

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