The Department of Justice announced Friday the arrest of some 3,800 gang members across four countries, dealing a serious blow to the MS-13 transnational drug gang.
Operation "Regional Shield" involved coordination between law enforcement in the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The majority of the charges came in El Salvador: 3,477 criminal charges, resulting in 1,400 arrests. Some 70 people were charged in the United States in six different states: California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Virginia. In Guatemala, 284 were charged, and 12 in Honduras. Additionally, six firearms, 14 businesses, and 11 luxury vehicles were seized.
"Today, we are announcing that our partnership with law enforcement in Central America has yielded charges against more than 3,800 gang members just in the last six months," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "MS-13 coordinates across our borders to kill, rape, and traffic drugs and underage girls; we've got to coordinate across our borders to stop them. That's exactly what our courageous and professional DOJ agents and attorneys are doing. We will continue to maintain this steadfast policy and dismantle this gang."
The charges have been almost eight months in the making. In February, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on "Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking." Decrying the scourge of transnational gangs as "drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery," Trump instructed federal law enforcement to give "high priority" and "sufficient resources" to combating transnational criminal cartels.
Source: Washington Free Beacon