Greg Norman, Fox News, January 22, 2018
Frustrated MS-13 gang leaders feeling the pressure from the Trump administration’s crackdown are looking to send “younger, more violent offenders” to the United States to take over the role of being enforcers, officials say.
The revelations were made Thursday during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting on fighting international criminal organizations, where officials discussed the arrests and imprisonment of MS-13 members and leadership over the last year.
“They’re very much interested in sending younger, more violent offenders up through their channels into this country in order to be enforcers for the gang,” said Stephen Richardson, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, according to VOA News.
Peter King, R-N.Y., the committee’s chairman, said his staff recently visited El Salvador and was told by law enforcement there that the gang — which mostly operates out of prisons in the Central American country — is “frustrated that MS-13 members in [the U.S.] are not violent enough.”
Justice Department figures say the gang has 40,000 members worldwide, with around 10,000 in the U.S. carrying out crimes ranging from extortion to gun trafficking.
Many MS-13 recruits are middle- and high-school students, predominantly in immigrant communities, who are said to risk violent retribution if they leave.