ICE rounds up more than 40 MS-13 members in NY

Sessions at IACP- video screenshot

MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, has been a renewed target under the new administration, mainly because its members carry out particularly vicious crimes and most members are in the United States illegally.

While Operation Raging Bull is being heralded as a victory, there are still many risky MS-13 members that the government is still targeting.

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

Thirty-eight Long Island residents were among more than 200 MS-13 members arrested on a variety of charges and immigration violations across the country in the latest crackdown on the street gang, federal officials said Thursday.

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.

U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Scott Luck explained that the operation worked with El Salvadoran intelligence agencies to identify people with links to MS-13. Led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the operation swept up 214 MS-13 members in the United States and 53 members in El Salvador, the gang's home base, officials said.

Bourke did not have other details, including whether any of the people arrested had been in jail.

MS-13 gang members are known for their tattooed bodies. Many of its members are immigrants from El Salvador.

Benner said 198 of the alleged MS-13 members who were arrested were foreign nationals, while 16 suspects were US citizens.

Sixty-four of the 193 illegals - almost one in three - are would-be "dreamers" because they illegally crossed the border while claiming to be minors.

You can read the Department of Justice Press Release here.

"Operation Raging Bull" was carried out in two parts. The operation led to a total of 267 arrests of MS-13 members and associates. 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.

"By taking criminal street gang members and associates off the streets - if they are here illegally, removing them from the country - we are addressing a significant security and public safety vulnerability", said Derek Benner, who works as a top executive in ICE's Homeland Security Investigations.

Last month, Sessions formally designated MS-13 as a "priority" for the department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, a collective of several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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