Alexa Lardieri, US News and World Report, December 20, 2019
The Department of Justice on Friday announced charges against 96 people accused of being members or associates of the notorious and violent MS-13 street gang in New York.
Law enforcement called it the largest takedown of the criminal group in state history. The charges include 77 counts of murder and assault, as well as gang assault, firearm sales and possession and drug trafficking on Long Island.
The mass arrests in New York’s Suffolk County issued “a major blow to the gang’s leadership, operations and recruitment in our region,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said in a press conference. The takedown is the result of a two-year multi-agency investigation that faced multiple alleged murder plots.
Sini said the 23-month investigation resulted in the arrests of more than 230 MS-13 members in the U.S. and in El Salvador. Among those indicted in New York were the leaders of nine cliques that operated throughout the county.
The arrests put a stop to the gang’s “New York program,” which was orchestrated by leaders in El Salvador to develop a greater presence on Long Island.