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

Jared Kushner says he will cooperate in Trump-Russia inquiry after reports he is under scrutiny
Jared Kushner says he will cooperate in Trump-Russia inquiry after reports he is under scrutiny

Jared Kushner is currently 'being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians', the Washington Post reported. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said he would cooperate with any investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia following reports that he is under FBI scrutiny.

Trump son-in-law Kushner under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe: media reports
Trump son-in-law Kushner under FBI scrutiny in Russia probe: media reports
  • US
  • 2017-05-25 23:45:59Z

President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser, is under scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Russia probe, the Washington Post and NBC News reported on Thursday. Kushner is being investigated because of his meetings in December and other possible interactions with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the investigation. Kushner is the only current White House official known to be considered a key person in the probe, the newspaper reported.

Guns N
Guns N' Roses Extend 2017 North American Tour

Guns N' Roses have extended their 2017 tour with another set of North American dates this fall.

Playboy model sentenced for posting photo of unsuspecting nude
Playboy model sentenced for posting photo of unsuspecting nude

Dani Mathers, the 2015 Playboy Playmate of the year, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to a criminal charge of invasion of privacy for secretly photographing a 70-year-old nude woman and was sentenced to 30 days of graffiti removal work, prosecutors said. Mathers last July posted to social media a picture

California judge issues arrest warrant for yoga guru Bikram Choudhury
California judge issues arrest warrant for yoga guru Bikram Choudhury

A California judge issued an arrest warrant for the yoga guru Bikram Choudhury after he failed to pay nearly $6.5 million to a former legal adviser in a sexual harassment case. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton also set bail at $8 million for the founder of the Bikram yoga empire, which

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.