Salvadoran Gangsters Get Busted In North Carolina Cartel Case

REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Four Salvadoran members of international gang MS-13 gangsters have ended up behind bars after being found guilty Tuesday of murder and federal racketeering in North Carolina.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, the four thugs and 33 of their pals were, “From at least in or about 2009 to about May 2015…named in a federal indictment.” The Charlotte Observer reports that, “Miguel Zelaya, 20; Luis Ordonez-Vega, 36; Jorge Sosa, 24; and William Gavidia, 23, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.”

MS-13 is a Salvadoran gang with its roots in 1980s Los Angeles. The gang claims to have the loyalty of 6,000 criminals across the U.S. and 30,000 worldwide.

Gangsters from MS-13 are currently engaged in a long-running national turf war with their rivals the 18th Street Gang in El Salvador. The carnage of the feud has made El Salvador as well as neighboring Honduras some of the most violent countries in the world.

Besides racketeering charges, two of the four thugs, Ordonez-Vega and Zalaya, “were convicted of murder in aid of racketeering in connection with two separate killings.” A third criminal, Sosa, “was convicted of attempted murder in the aid of racketeering.”

MS-13’s U.S. members are rivals of the Latin Kings gang which is also known for extensive drug trafficking. The Salvadoran gangsters of MS-13 fund much of their illicit dealings through drug trafficking in partnership with Mexican cartels including Los Zetas.

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