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263 arrested in gang sweep of MS-13

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Federal agents arrested more than 300 people, including 158 members of the notorious MS-13 gang, in a nationwide sweep in July and August.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Friday it had nabbed 361 people wanted for a mixture of charges including murder, assault, sexual assault, robbery, kidnapping and immigration violation charges.

Those arrested included 158 MS-13 associates, 105 members of 42 other gangs across 71 cities, 84 non-gang members wanted on criminal charges and 14 people on immigration violations in "Project Razor's Edge" between July 15 and August 9.

The MS-13 street gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, is a transnational gang that started in Los Angeles and has spread throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America, with members primarily made of Central American immigrants and foreign nationals.

In addition to the arrests, the Homeland Security Investigations arm of ICE seized 28 firearms, 9.94 kg of marijuana, 122.8 g of cocaine, 771.5 g of heroin and $22,390.85 in cash.

"Operations like these are especially rewarding for the men and women of HSI as they know firsthand that they're playing a critical role in community safety," said HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins.

The FBI said MS-13, "one of the most dangerous transnational criminal gangs in the world today," has about 10,000 members in 42 states.

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