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US nets 214 in nationwide MS-13 gang sweep

/ 08:18 AM November 17, 2017

Members of the Military Police of Public Order (PMOP) take part in an operation against gangs, including the MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, on November 15 2017 in neighborhoods of Tegucigalpa in Honduras where residents were allegedly threatened if they vote in the November 26 general election. (AFP PHOTO / Orlando SIERRA)

United States authorities announced on Thursday that 214 members of the notorious MS-13 gang had been arrested in a one-month sweep around the country.

More than half of those picked up in the operations, which was led by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, were arrested on immigration violations. But 93 were dealt federal criminal charges including murder, robbery, drugs, and racketeering.

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The largest part of the group, estimated at 135, was from El Salvador, followed by Honduras, and Mexico.

The sweep was part of a joint action with El Salvador, the base for MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha. In September Salvadoran authorities announced the arrest of 53 MS-13 members.

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The gang, which is spread across the US as well as Central America, has become a focus of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on crime, which he claims has surged as a result of borders easily crossed by gang members.

“With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

“That’s why I have ordered our drug trafficking task forces to use every law available to arrest, prosecute, convict, and defund MS-13. And we are getting results,” Sessions noted.  /kga

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TAGS: Crime, Gangs, Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13, Politics, US
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