Dozens charged in largest-ever Los Angeles raid against MS-13 gang




  • In US
  • 2017-05-17 21:20:24Z
  • By By Alex Dobuzinskis
FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck speaks to the media in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck speaks to the media in Los Angeles

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police arrested 21 members and associates of street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, in Los Angeles on Wednesday in pre-dawn raids that were the culmination of a three-year probe, officials said.

Federal prosecutors indicted 44 people, including those taken into custody on Wednesday and others already in jail, on charges ranging from murder to extortion. The indictment also names 12 senior leaders of MS-13 in Los Angeles as defendants.

The crackdown - which involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other federal agencies and Los Angeles police - is the largest-ever law enforcement action against MS-13 in Los Angeles, where immigrants from El Salvador started the gang in the 1980s, officials said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month vowed to combat MS-13, which has expanded to many U.S. cities and spread to several Latin American countries, by cracking down on illegal immigration.

Officials at a news conference on Wednesday in Los Angeles underscored that this latest action against MS-13 began under the administration of former President Barack Obama and that individuals' immigration status was not the focus.

More than half of those charged are illegal immigrants, according to Deirdre Fike, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that investigators also relied on witnesses and victims who are themselves not legal U.S. residents.

"MS-13 is responsible for murders of rival gangs and innocent bystanders as well as drug dealing and extortion in communities in the Los Angeles area," acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown said at the news conference. "Today's action however will deal a critical blow to the top leadership of that enterprise."

MS-13 operated clandestine after-hours clubs in the Los Angeles area where it made money from prostitution and from drug and alcohol sales, Brown said, adding that the gang also extorts from both street-level drug dealers and legitimate business owners.

Most of the defendants face the possibility of decades in prison if convicted, Brown said.


(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Patrick Enright and Cynthia Osterman)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Family Of Chicago Teen Found Dead In Hotel Freezer Demands FBI Investigation
Family Of Chicago Teen Found Dead In Hotel Freezer Demands FBI Investigation

Family and friends of Kenneka Jenkins, a teenager found dead last week in the freezer of a Chicago-area hotel, want the FBI to investigate after local police said they don't suspect foul play.

Chargers
Chargers' debut in LA marred by 19-17 loss to Miami as Gates sets TD record

In their first game since their move to Los Angeles, the Chargers lost to the Miami Dolphins 19-17, while Antonio Gates set a record for career touchdowns by a tight end.

US aviator who helped form Israeli Air Force dies at 94
US aviator who helped form Israeli Air Force dies at 94

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mitchell Flint, an American aviator who helped form the Israeli Air Force in 1948 and served in Israel's first fighter squadron has died. He was 94.

Mother Requests FBI Probe In Chicago Teen's Freezer Death
Mother Requests FBI Probe In Chicago Teen's Freezer Death

On Friday, Rosemont Police released a surveillance video to the public showing the teenager wandering alone in a deserted kitchen area of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel.

Juggalos march on Washington to protest
Juggalos march on Washington to protest 'gang' label

Wearing piercings and horror makeup, a thousand fans of controversial US rap group "Insane Clown Posse" descended on Washington Saturday, alleging discrimination since the FBI labeled them gang members in a 2011 report. With its extravagantly dressed participants, many adorned with tattoos and piercings, the "Juggalo March" was an offbeat addition to the regular political rallies staged in the capital. Saturday also saw a rightwing demonstration by supporters of President Donald Trump, dubbed the "Mother of All Rallies," as well as a leftwing protest by a group called "Protect American Democracy" against alleged Russian interference in last year's election.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.