MS-13 gang members have begun to meet in vacant buildings across Long Island, New York, following a recent law enforcement efforts to push the gang out of the area, police say.
Gang members were previously known to congregate in the wooded areas across Long Island, but have recently been forced into hiding due to law enforcement activity, Nassau Police Det. Sgt. Michael Marino said, Newsday reported Sunday.
MS-13 frequently used the wooded areas around Nassau County, specifically in the local Massapequa and Roosevelt preserves, to conduct killings, dispose of their victims, and plan other criminal activities, according to Newsday. (RELATED: REPORT: MS-13 Made Comeback Through Obama’s Lax Gang Enforcement, Surge Of Unaccompanied Minors)
Police on Long Island are looking to drive away MS-13 members from their new hideouts inside abandoned buildings https://t.co/DafVgmRX2b
— WCBS Newsradio 880 (@wcbs880) July 8, 2019
Police recently launched a surveillance operation after gang graffiti was found on a home in the town of New Cassel, Marino said. Police successfully removed the MS-13 gang presence in the building, and made several arrest of the gang members who were squatting in the building, according to Marino.
MS-13 related deaths have all but halted in Nassau County, according to officials. A dozen people were reportedly killed by the gang between 2015 and 2016, but only one victim was killed by the gang in 2018, officials say.
Just under 300 MS-13 gang members are active in Nassau County, according to authorities, but the gang is now experiencing stagnation with its recruitment, Newsday reports. The gang’s active member count is down from 1,000 five years ago, Marino says.
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