Nineteen members of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha
(MS-13) gang were indicted by federal authorities Thursday. For those keeping track one MS-13 gang leader on March 11, 2005
and another on March 29, 2005
ordered attacks on the Minuteman Project
. On March 15, 2005
a member slashed his female attorney with a razor while in court. The feds also rounded up 103 gang members on March 15,2005
. December 13, 2004
an MS-13 member was arrested crossing the border with an illegal alien with al-Qaeda ties. And on September 28,2004
I reported on al-Qaeda operatives enlisting the help of the violent El Salvadorian gang.
From an earlier report:
Although they are actively involved in alien, drug and weapons smuggling, Mara Salvatrucha members in America also have been tied to numerous killings, robberies, burglaries, carjackings, extortions, rapes and aggravated assaults — including at least seven killings in Virginia and a machete attack on a 16-year-old in Alexandria that severely mutilated his hands.
The suspects, nine of whom were swept up in pre-dawn raids, were named in an unusual federal indictment alleging that the gang's activities amounted to a criminal racketeering enterprise akin to the Mafia.
According to the court papers, MS-13 conspired to intimidate its communities and members of the organization through a string of murders, assaults and kidnappings.
The indictment attributes six murders, five attempted murders and a kidnapping to the gang, whose operations have penetrated the Maryland communities of Silver Spring, Langley Park and Hyattsville.
The arrests, led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the federal charges are the latest attempt by the federal government to target the organization.
Earlier this summer, the government announced the arrest of more than 500 gang members, many of whom were targeted because of their affiliation with MS-13.