Arrested Locally as Part of Massive MS-13 Gang Crackdown

The sting was a collaboration between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice and led by federal, state and local enforcement.

"We know he's an MS-13 member?"

It is too early to tell what effects operations such as this will have on MS-13's presence and growth in the United States.

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

Operation Raging Bull is the latest example of ICE's plan to target violent gang members and their associates.

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The only street gang designated by the Treasury Department as a transnational criminal organization, MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, boasts almost 10,000 members in the United States, mostly immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

ICE announced results of the first phase of the two-phase operation in September after 53 arrests in El Salvador after an 18-month investigation.

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

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

The second phase took place between October 8 and November 11, in the USA, during which an additional 214 suspected gang members were arrested, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday. Many of its members are immigrants from El Salvador.

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

Significantly, Benner said, 64 of those arrested had crossed the border illegally in the wave of unaccompanied minors who have been streaming into the United States from Central America in large numbers since 2014. 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.

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.

"Operation Raging Bull" was carried out in two parts. "We will not rest until every member, associate, and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes, and those in this country illegally have been removed". "The violence they perpetrate is shocking, and shows no remorse, or even a basic respect for human life", said acting ICE Director Tom Homan.

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