The Justice Department announced Wednesday that a law enforcement task force has taken out MS-13 leadership in Los Angeles.
The task force, which included state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, arrested 21 members and associates of MS-13 Wednesday. The DOJ has brought RICO charges against 44 individuals in LA.
“This case has targeted the leadership and most violent actors of the MS-13 street gang in Los Angeles, as well as MS-13’s links to the Mexican Mafia,” Deirdre Fike, the assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said in a statement. “This operation will have a significant impact on this violent gang and their overall ability to maintain control over law-abiding citizens.”
The 127-page indictment revealed that there are over ten thousand MS-13 members in the US, and that the LA gang is of particular importance. “MS-13 members in Los Angeles are sometimes called upon to provide input in other parts of the country,” the indictment said.
The individuals facing charges include 12 senior leaders of the gang who formed a leadership council. The DOJ said in a press release that “a committee that was needed because no one person was willing to take on the top role in the wake of ongoing scrutiny by law enforcement.”
Three of the MS-13 members named in the indictment are also facing murder charges.
The Trump administration has made a particular focus on targeting MS-13 and other street gangs, and recently announced the arrest of over 1300 gang members.