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

Chargers withstand Titans
Chargers withstand Titans' late rally, hold on for 20-19 win

LONDON (AP) - Philip Rivers threw for 306 yards with two touchdown passes and the Los Angeles Chargers held on for a 20-19 victory on Sunday in London after the Tennessee Titans failed twice on a go-ahead 2-point conversion with 31 seconds remaining.

A capsule look at the World Series
A capsule look at the World Series

A look at the best-of-seven World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox:

Lakers
Lakers' James to make home debut against Rockets tonight

James said he and his new teammates are still going through a feeling-out period.

USC agrees to pay $215M to settle doctor sex abuse claims
USC agrees to pay $215M to settle doctor sex abuse claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The University of Southern California said Friday that it would pay $215 million to settle claims of sexual abuse and harassment by a school gynecologist, but lawyers for hundreds of the accusers say it's not enough money and the university has yet to fully disclose what it knew about the doctor's behavior.  

Kobe Bryant Told Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss To
Kobe Bryant Told Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss To 'Clean Up This S---' in LA, if She Wanted LeBron

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant spoke with The Undefeated about his role in bringing LeBron James to Los Angeles. "I'll tell you, when [Lakers owner] Jeanie Buss came to me and said, 'I really want to go after [LeBron],' I said, 'Jeanie, he's not coming here until you clean up this s- here,'" Bryant told the Undefeared. "The last thing LeBron wants to do is come to an organization that has a lot of infighting, a lot of the stuff going on.

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.