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ICE says at least 158 arrested in sweep aimed at MS-13 gang

Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- At least 158 members and associates of the violent MS-13 gang were arrested in a national crackdown, the U.S. border agency said Friday.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency said a total of 263 people belonging to MS-13 and other gangs were detained in late July and early August, CNN reported. Another 85 people not believed to be associated with gangs were arrested on criminal charges and 14 detained on immigration violations, the agency said.

MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha was started in Los Angeles by refugees from El Salvador and is now said to have chapters in 42 states. The gang, mostly made up in the United States of immigrants from Central America, has spread back into their homelands.

ICE described it as "one of the most dangerous transnational criminal gangs in the world today."

Those arrested include one alleged MS-13 member suspected of murder, ICE said. Agents also seized 28 guns, more than 20 pounds of marijuana, about 2 pounds of heroin, a small quantity of cocaine and $22,000.

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