WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced a major gang sweep Thursday, with the arrest of more than 200 members of the violent street gang MS-13.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department said “Operation Raging Bull” was conducted across the United States from Oct. 8 to Nov. 11, and concluded with the arrest of 214 members of MS-13.
“We will not rest until every member, associate and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes,” said Thomas Horman, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This was the second phase of a federal effort to target MS-13. The first phase involved 53 arrests in El Salvador in September after an 18-month investigation.
In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said more than 1,200 gang members have been convicted so far this year, and about 4,000 have been arrested and charged. He said the arrests will help make the country safer “by taking MS-13 off our streets for good.”
Of the most recent round-up, officials said, criminal charges included murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, firearms offenses and assault. About 60 of the arrests involved people illegally crossing the border as unaccompanied children, officials said.
ICE officials announced that they added six MS-13 fugitives to its list of “most wanted” individuals — one wanted for homicide in Texas and five others wanted for attempted homicides of police officers in El Salvador.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump directed federal law enforcement officials to focus resources on combating transnational gangs, including MS-13. The gang originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s, then entrenched itself in Central America when its leaders were deported.
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