Gang Power and Influence

January 10, 2018 Crime , OTHER


Ricardo Swire


Caribbean intelligence officials accentuate America’s Treasury, Homeland Security and Justice Departments’ inclusion of the MS-13 criminal organization on 2018’s priority lists. On May 17, 2017 a long meticulous US federal operation climaxed with the arrest of twenty-four MS-13 gang members in Los Angeles, the probe also examining MS-13’s power and influence. The gang is responsible for several murders, drug deals and extortion schemes in several Los Angeles communities. Data reflects between 2015 and 2017 MS-13 emissaries killed seventeen people in Brentwood, Long Island, New York.

In August 2017 America’s Attorney-General instructed local police Chiefs to make MS-13 the “Priority Target” of an active elite law enforcement counter-narcotics/organized crime Unit. MS-13 thrives on the US East Coast and intermingles with resident Latino populations. Montgomery County in Maryland is one popular base. In March 2017 a group of MS13 gang members in Wheaton, Maryland bordering Washington DC stabbed an unidentified man one hundred times. They removed his heart and buried him in a wooded area.

Everett County in Massachusetts is another MS-13 hotspot, where law enforcement contends with increased murders. America’s current president asserted “MS-13 transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into blood-stained killing fields … They’re animals.” The US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment referred to MS-13 as a “secondary player.” MS-13 is the abbreviation for Mara Salvatrucha. Revised Caribbean intelligence figures calculated that more than two million Salvadorian nationals reside in America. Among them approximately six thousand MS-13 members operate across forty-two US states including Washington, DC.

El Salvador is a key regional US law enforcement partner in the fight against transnational human/drugs trafficking cartels, criminal organizations and gangs. Recent domestic MS-13 leadership changes, plus oversight of undocumented Central American children smuggled through the East Coast, influenced an expanded MS-13 membership. Such adjustments are reflected in southern Maryland, Boston suburbs and Brentwood in Long Island, USA. Long Island’s boundaries extend from New York Harbor, a short distance from Manhattan, extending eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. “Shugar” is one MS-13 kingpin jailed in El Salvador. Yet he manages organized crime schemes across the waters in America via technology.

WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media platforms allow Shugar to electronically link “clica” bosses headquartered in Massachusetts and other US states. In one Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) monitored conversation Shugar ordered a Richmond MS-13 US resident gang boss to ensure the East Coast cells maintain unity. Demonstration of the power wielded by MS-13 titans in El Salvador over gang members resident in Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and New York. Two years prior Suffolk County police credited MS-13 with fifteen murders. In May 2017 a US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation specifically targeted gangs and detained one thousand four hundred affiliates. More than one hundred belonged to MS-13.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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