Nearly 100 members of the MS-13 gang have been arrested and charged with various crimes by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Long Island, New York — a historic crackdown on the violent El Salvadoran gang.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced on Friday that a 23-month investigation into the MS-13 gang’s ten cliques on Long Island had resulted in the arrests of 96 MS-13 gang members, including illegal aliens and those who were able to legally enter the United States.
Those 96 MS-13 gang members, whose ages range from 16 to 59-years-old, come from nine of the region’s ten cliques, and the investigation has led to more than 230 arrests of MS-13 gang members in New York state, nationwide, and in El Salvador.
Evidence was recovered as part of the investigation, including ten kilograms of cocaine, 1,000 fentanyl pills, 11 guns, and numerous machetes — the MS-13 gang’s preferred weapon for slaughtering victims. Tuni said:
As we know, MS-13 is a ruthless, savage gang which commits acts of violence to recruit, retain, and control its members and exact revenge on its rivals, as well as to extort innocent members of our community. They engage in various acts of criminality to generate money, including drug dealing, and they send portions of that money back to their leadership … in El Salvador.
Most prominently, Tuni said the investigation has “helped end” MS-13’s “New York Program,” wherein gang leaders in El Salvador had sent hundreds of El Salvadoran nationals to Long Island to build a “greater presence” in Long Island. The investigation also aided in stopping seven murder plots and other plans by MS-13 gang members to commit violence.
Last month, Tuni convened a special grand jury that issued an indictment against 64 of the 96 MS-13 gang members arrested. Those 64 members include nine leaders of the gang. The indictment comes with 77 counts of conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree assault, gang assault, operating as a major trafficker of guns and drugs, and criminal sale of drugs.
More charges are expected in the coming months.
Federal officials note that every year, the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program is widely used by the MS-13 gang to import illegal alien members into the country. Annually, about 22,000 potential recruits for the MS-13 gang are resettled throughout the country by the federal government.