The crackdown on MS-13 continues with the arrest of three more members who were illegally in the United States.
Federal agents arrested three members of the ruthless Central American gang in three separate incidents. Two of the members were arrested over a 24-hour span in Port Clinton, Ohio. The third was arrested in Norcross, Georgia, also by federal agents specifically targeting MS-13 members.
In Georgia, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 28-year-old Hector Amaya-Gamez, for his role in a gang-related murder that took place in Nokesville, Virginia. Investigators were able to determine that Amaya-Gamez was part of the MS-13 gang and took an active role in the murder. Amaya-Gamez, a Salvadoran national, is expected to face first-degree murder charges in Virginia.
In a separate operation in Ohio, Wilson Antonio Miranda-Rivera admitted to being illegally in the United States. Records checks revealed a lengthy criminal history to include a felony conviction for terrorist threats along with numerous arrests for illegal re-entry into the United States.
Immigration agents also in Ohio arrested Juan Carlos Rivera-Flores, who admitted to being an illegal alien from El Salvador. During a follow-up investigation, authorities learned that Rivera-Flores is a known member of MS-13 who had been previously arrested in El Salvador on weapons charges, resisting arrest, and his gang affiliation.
“These arrests serve as a prime example of our agency’s commitment to prevent dangerous people from living in our communities,” said U.S. Border Patrol Sector Chief Douglas Harrison in a prepared statement.
Law enforcement officials nationwide are targeting MS-13 members, many of which are illegal aliens with violent criminal records. In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Treasury labeled the group a “transnational criminal organization,” the first such designation for a street gang. During a 10-year period between 2005 and 2014, officials arrested 4,000 members of MS-13; 92 percent of those were in the United States illegally, according to information provided by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)