On Friday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in New York announced indictments against 96 MS-13 gang members and associates on a variety of different charges, including seven plots to commit murder. The charges were the culmination of a nearly two-year investigation by multiple agencies into the violent street gang that was founded in Southern California by so-called refugees from El Salvador.
More than 100 additional arrests were made during the course of the investigation, some of which took place in El Salvador. MS-13 launched its "New York Program" with the aim of increasing the organization's power in New York and along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Nine regional leaders of the MS-13 gang were among those charged and are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.
"The goal of this investigation was to deliver a major blow to the gang’s leadership, operations and recruitment in our region," Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said at a news conference.
The investigation was conducted by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York State Police.
In September, United States Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost announced that her agency had arrested at least 445 MS-13 gang members during fiscal year 2019.
In 2017, President Trump called attention to the heavy presence of MS-13 gang members in the country.
"To any member of MS-13 listening, I have a message for you," the President warned at the time. "We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, we will throw you the hell out of the country."