Fourth Estate Staff
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – A total of 21 people got arrested after a number of raids were carried out in Los Angeles and they are suspected to be part of the MS- 13 gang.
Federal and local investigators raided homes and businesses in a pre-dawn raid. According to officials, the raids were the result of two years of investigation.
Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department, agents from the FBI, and investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked together to carry out the raids in at least two dozen locations. Those arrested were among the 44 gang suspects facing federal charges such as racketeering and murder. Most of them area also in the country illegally.
This operation was the largest ever conducted in Los Angeles against MS- 13, confirmed Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. The gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, preys on immigrants without legal status. Beck added, “They extort them. They rob them. They rape them. They murder them. Without their cooperation as witnesses, none of this would be possible.”
During one of the raids, officials forced their way inside a storefront in Exposition Park. They then found gang members said to be involved in human trafficking. The possible victims were inside as well.
The raid came weeks after the Trump administration blamed the lax immigration enforcement for the rise of MS- 13. President Donald Trump also took to Twitter to say, “The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS-13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!”
The gang started in Los Angeles in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants. The gang started to become notorious after they used a machete to chop off the hand of a 16-year-old from a rival gang member.
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