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The Bobster
03-30-2018, 09:32 AM
https://nypost.com/2018/03/29/family-of-ms-13-gang-members-grateful-they-were-arrested/

Family of MS-13 gang members grateful they were arrested
By Shawn Cohen and Amanda Woods
March 29, 2018 | 7:48pm

MS-13 gang members are such a scourge on Long Island their own families don’t want them around.

The aunt of two brothers — who were among 24 gang members arrested across the New York area Thursday — thanked officers when they arrived to arrest her nephews on Thursday, according to WABC-TV.

The woman was grateful and told officers that she knew the brothers were hanging out with the wrong crowd when they apprehended the pair, who are suspected of having ties to MS-13, in Brentwood, Long Island, the network said.

The arrests were the product of a multi-agency task force known as “Operation Matador,” which targets MS-13 and other transnational gang activity in the New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

Operation Matador was launched this past May following a high-profile visit by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Long Island to address MS-13’s growing presence in the suburbs.

Since the start of the operation, 475 people were arrested, most of whom were confirmed as gang members and affiliates, the feds said. Of the arrests, 227 were criminal and 248 were administrative.

Most of those busted — a whopping 274 people — were MS-13 members, according to authorities. Fifteen of them were from the 18th Street Gang.

The majority of them — 199 people — were from El Salvador, with dozens of others from Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Five people were from Ecuador and one was from St. Lucia.

Most of the busts took place in Long Island — 210 in Nassau County and 177 in Suffolk. Thirty-six alleged gang members were taken into custody in Queens, 18 in the Bronx and 12 in Brooklyn. Nineteen people were busted in Spring Valley, N.Y., and three of the arrests took place in other states.

Ninety-nine people arrested during the operation — all of whom were confirmed as MS-13 members — crossed the border as unaccompanied minors. Sixty-four of those obtained Special Immigrant Juvenile Status after entering the country, the feds said.

Of those arrested, 65 people have been ordered released by an immigration judge, according to the feds. Four have been re-arrested for local criminal charges.

MS-13, known for drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, murder and sex trafficking, was labeled a “transnational criminal organization” by the Treasury Department in 2012.

The gang’s members are known for tattooing their bodies in devil horns — a trend that is helping law enforcement properly ID them for arrest and deportation.

Operation Matador is spearheaded by Homeland Security Investigations Agents — with partners from the Drug Enforcement Administration, ICE, the National Guard, local police departments, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Enforcement and Removal Operations.

“Operation Matador sends a clear message to violent street gangs that there are consequences for their actions. Since this operation began last year, we have seen a decrease in the amount of violent crime directly related to MS-13 and other transnational gangs,” ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan said in the statement. “We will not rest until our communities are safe and these dangerous individuals are brought to justice.”