Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Every little bit helps. Good news to read about:

More than 100 members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, have been arrested in a sweeping nationwide anti-gang initiative called "Operation Community Shield," including 25 in the Washington area and 10 in Baltimore.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, working with state and local law-enforcement authorities, arrested members of the Central America-rooted gang -- this country's largest and most violent criminal organization -- in six cities on charges ranging from murder to immigration violations.

MS-13 members in the United States have been tied to murders, robberies, burglaries, carjackings, extortion, rapes and aggravated assaults, including at least seven killings in Virginia and Maryland, and machete attacks in Virginia in the past nine months that mutilated a 16-year-old Alexandria boy and a 24-year-old Fairfax man.

With as many as 20,000 gang members active nationally and 5,000 in Virginia and Maryland operating in groups known as "cliques," authorities said MS-13 gangs have targeted not only civilians, rival gang members and clique traitors, but also have issued "green light" notices to kill police officers in both states.

"Operation Community Shield is an important public safety initiative for the Department of Homeland Security that targets the proliferation of gang violence throughout the country," said Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Michael J. Garcia, who heads ICE. (full article)

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