After two years of investigation and apprehension, authorities have indicted 22 MS-13 gang members for some of the most violent and “medieval” killings in California’s history. Of the 22 arrested, 19 were illegal aliens. MS-13 “has been named as one of the top five transnational threats to the US,” Nicola Hanna, the US Attorney for Los Angeles, said. “MS-13 has spread like a cancer … throughout the US.”
There are about 20 California factions – or cliques – of the violent gang. Those arrested were part of one of the most vicious, the Fulton Clique, which operated primarily in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, Hanna reported. The alleged criminals are suspected in nearly 200 crimes that spanned across several states over nine years.
Seven instances were cited in the indictment that explained how the members abducted their targets to kill them. In some cases, victims were beaten to death with baseball bats or by multiple stabbings. One of the most horrifying allegations details how a suspected rival gang member was believed to have defaced MS-13 graffiti. Members of the gang allegedly led the victim to the forest outside Los Angeles and killed him with a machete. Records say the members then dismembered his body and cut his heart out before dumping the body parts into a canyon.
The Illegal Immigrant Connection
While liberals cry out for open borders and protection of illegal immigrants and pompously state that there is not a crisis at the border, this is irrefutable proof that there is a very dangerous problem. Of the 22 recently indicted defendants, 19 of them are believed to have illegally crossed the southern border in just the past three to four years. Most of the members come from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, and many cross into the United States to join the gang. Initiation into the group consists of various crimes, both against rival gang members, but also on innocent citizens. According to the indictment:
“In Los Angeles, a clique added new members through an initiation ritual known as ‘jumping in,’ during which several existing MS-13 members beat up a prospective MS-13 member for 13 seconds while the shot caller counted aloud for 13 seconds.”
The gang is involved in several “businesses,” including intimidation, extortion, drug trafficking, and murder.
“MS- 13 extorted both legitimate and illegitimate businesses alike. These businesses were often owned or run by illegal immigrants, who rarely reported this extortion to law enforcement, despite the threats of violence that usually accompanied the extortion. MS-13 members who recently came to Los Angeles were also resorting to robbery for cash, cellular telephones, and Nike Cortez tennis shoes, favored by MS-13 members.”
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) was formed in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980s and has grown substantially, spreading to other cities and states. The indictment explains the formation of the name and the gang’s rise to power:
“In the 1990s in Los Angeles, Mara Salvatrucha distinguished itself by committing brutal acts of violence against rival gang members and non-gang members. In the mid-1990s, Mara Salvatrucha became associated with the Mexican Mafia, commonly referred to as “la Eme” (which translates in English to “the M”), and added the number “13” to its name. The number “13” marks the 13th letter of the alphabet: “M.” Thus, Mara Salvatrucha became “MS-13,” signifying its loyalty to the Mexican Mafia.
Violence in El Salvador, some caused by MS-13 members there, raised to an alarming rate in 2012, promoting the government to form an agreement with some of the highest-ranking incarcerated members. When news of the agreement reached other members in 2015, some of them spoke out against the government’s efforts and were murdered. Because of this, the sub-group “503” emerged, which is the division of the gang members recently indicted. “The number 503 is relevant because it is the telephone country code for El Salvador,” the indictment states. “MS-13 members who upheld the values of extreme violence often claimed to belong to ‘503,’ which typically denoted Salvadoran nationalism and adherence to MS13’s violent roots.”
MS-13 has spread internationally, “with more than ten thousand members regularly conducting gang activities in at least ten states and Washington, DC, with tens of thousands more conducting gang activities in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.”
The indictment lists 196 Overt Acts starting in 2010 and running through 2019. Here are just some of those documented:
- Overt Act No. 1: On March 24, 2010, in Douglas County, Nebraska, defendant VELASQUEZ transported $1,226,220 in US currency that constituted drug proceeds in a white trailer attached to a red 1999 Freightliner semi-tractor.
- Overt Act No. 3: On April 6, 2014, in the area of Kester Avenue in Van Nuys, California, within MS-13 territory, defendant VELASQUEZ ordered unindicted co-conspirators to, “shoot this fool!,” and unindicted co-conspirators shot at B-R, C-A, and T-M, killing B-R.
- Overt Act No. 6: On August 15, 2015, at the Little San Salvador Nightclub and Restaurant, located at 901 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, California, within MS-13’s Hollywood clique territory (“Little San Salvador”), unindicted co-conspirators and longtime MS13 members groomed defendants REVELO, GARCIA, ARTEAGA, and FLORES for membership in MS-13 when the unindicted co-conspirators shot and killed E-M and stabbed H-M and S-B.
- Overt Act No. 12: On November 10, 2015, in the area of the Wash, defendant ARTEAGA, in the presence of defendants CRUZ, REVELO, E MENDEZ, and FLORES attempted to shoot a rival gang member in a vehicle, but actually shot an innocent bystander.
- Overt Act No. 53: On April 19, 2017, via Facebook messenger, defendants CRUZ, GUZMAN, GARCIA, CHAVEZ, ARTEAGA, FLORES, and GONZALEZ participated in a group chat wherein defendant CHAVEZ denounced the United States Government for trying to eliminate MS-13 in the United States and threatened to go to war with local law enforcement.
- Overt Act No. 58: On April 20, 2017, in the Angeles National Forest, defendants GUZMAN, ALVARADO, R MENDEZ, and E MENDEZ repeatedly struck G-B with a machete, killing him.
- Overt Act No. 68: On June 4, 2017, defendant CHAVEZ repeatedly struck E-H with a machete, and defendants GARCIA, REVELO, and LINARES struck E-H with a knife, killing him.
- Overt Act No. 95: On September 8, 2017, defendants GONZALEZ and LINARES stabbed B-C in the back and abdomen.
- Overt Act No. 108: On October 30, 2017, in the Angeles National Forest, defendants ALVARADO, R MENDEZ, and CORADO, and unindicted co-conspirators killed B-A and threw B-A’s body into a canyon.
- Overt Act No. 135: On April 7, 2018, in the Angeles National Forest, defendants CRUZ, E MORALES, GOMEZ, FLORES, and ARTEAGA used multiple knives to stab victim J-H-C to death.
- Overt Act No. 152: On July 21, 2018, in the Malibu Hills of Los Angeles County, defendants GOMEZ, REVELO, CORADO, and ROSALES ARIAS, and unindicted co-conspirators, shot and killed R-C.
- Overt Act No. 186: On January 14, 2019, at Whitsett Park, defendants GONZALEZ and MARTINEZ and an unindicted co-conspirator confronted B-H and the unindicted co-conspirator shot and killed B-H.