Of the 45 New York-area gang arrests over the last month by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security, 39 were affiliated with MS-13, which has been blamed for a string of recent murders in normally placid Long Island, the feds said.
The arrests included 39 affiliated with the violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, two with the Sureños, one with the 18th Street gang, one with the Latin Kings, one with Los Niños Malos, and one with Patria. "This unified effort is about keeping NY citizens safe", said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in NY. Three others also had SIJ status. "Their vicious criminal activities present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere", said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York.
"Transnational gangs like MS-13 bring nothing but violence and conflict to our communities, and their presence will not be tolerated", said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in NY.
ICE said those arrested are all males, including nationals from El Salvador (27), Honduras (11), Mexico (5) and Guatemala (2).
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Authorities say 12 of the MS-13 members crossed the border as unaccompanied minors.
Twenty of the suspects had an extensive criminal history, including prior convictions with assault and weapons charges, ICE said.
Most of the arrested gang members will face deportation.
Those arrested were confirmed as gang members if they admitted to membership, convicted of gang-related activity, have tattoos identifying a specific gang or identified as a gang member by a reliable source, according to ICE. The remaining detainees will go before an immigration judge.
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