Speaking during a law enforcement event at the White House Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Bill Barr detailed how the Department of Justice has been hunting down MS-13 leaders and gang members for prosecution and deportation. He also announced the first terrorism charges against a member of the organization.
Attorney General Bill Barr explains the latest actions taken to disrupt and dismantle MS-13 leadership and operations. pic.twitter.com/0P7sbCnCFT— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 15, 2020
"In a 24 count indictment unsealed yesterday, the Eastern District of New York, charged eight MS-13 members, including leaders of the East Coast Hollywood Program, with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) charges related to six murders, two attempted murders, kidnapping, narcotics, and related firearms offenses," the Department of Justice released in a separate statement. "In a 21-count indictment unsealed yesterday in the District of Nevada, 13 MS-13 members, including leaders of the “Hollywood Locos” clique and “Los Angeles Program,” were charged with various offenses including Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE), narcotics distribution and weapons charges."
"In an indictment unsealed yesterday, Melgar Diaz was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists; conspiring to kill or maim persons overseas; conspiring to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries; conspiring to finance terrorism, and; conspiring to engage in narco-terrorism, in addition to racketeering conspiracy and drug trafficking. This is the first time that an MS-13 member has been charged with terrorism-related offenses," the statement continues.
President Trump called on the Department of Justice three years ago to aggressively pursue MS-13 members in cities across the country. Today, he touted the results and ongoing operations.
President @realDonaldTrump: "We've just concluded a historic operation leading to the arrest and indictment of dozens of savage MS-13 members and leaders all across the country." pic.twitter.com/vnVfiAjYra— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 15, 2020
"In New York and Nevada, 21 MS-13 members and leaders have been indicted on charges including murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking." pic.twitter.com/pCmvahqNXW— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 15, 2020