A months-long multi-agency operation ended this week that resulted in the arrest of more than twenty suspected MS-13 gang members.
The transnational criminal organization members operated in a Central Valley town, Mendota, west of Fresno as well as some in Los Angeles. More than 14 homicides since 2015 are allegedly linked to MS-13 in Mendota.
They were arrested on charges including murder, assault, kidnapping and drug trafficking, two men have also been charged with the 2017 murder of a man in Fresno County.
At a Friday news conference in Fresno, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said law enforcement investigators seized seven guns, 56 knives and 10 machetes as well as cellphones and drugs from inside 11 prisons during their investigation.
Local, state and federal investigators uncovered evidence of more than 30 homicides and assaults from Las Vegas to New York that have been tied to the dangerous gang.
“If you want to commit crime in California, we will find you,” state Attorney Gen. Xavier Becerra said. “If you want to terrorize our families and our communities, we will get you. If you traffic human beings or drugs, you’re in our sights,” he said.
According to prosecutors, the gang members in Mendota also traffic in marijuana, methamphetamine and prescription drugs.
The MS-13 gang started in Los Angeles in 1980 by immigrants fleeing the civil war in El Salvador. Since then, the gang has grown internationally with more than 10,000 members.
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