Three FBI fugitive MS-13 gang leaders who fled Los Angeles after a 2017 police roundup were captured in Tijuana.
The fugitives were identified as Irwin Hugo “Droopy” Garcia, a leader or “shot-caller” in Pasadena, California; Jesse “Grinch” Perez, leader of the so-called “Adams clique,” in a section of southwest Los Angeles; and Jorge Alberto Ramos, “Poison,” one of the leaders of the Leeward Grandes, established in central Los Angeles, according to Mexican media reports.
The MS-13 gang leaders were captured by agents of the state preventive police in Tijuana in colonia Villa del Álamo. All were wanted for charges issued in 2017 for conspiracy to traffic in narcotics and weapons.
A spokeswoman for the FBI, Lourdes Aroche, announced three months ago that a change of strategy was initiated by utilizing social media with the hopes of generating tips on the fugitives’ whereabouts. The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang has a documented history of engaging in drug and arms trafficking, extortion, and murder.
According to a federal indictment, “Droopy” was involved in the trafficking of weapons and narcotics in Pasadena and other regions in Los Angeles County. He was part of the group of “shot-callers” who seized control of MS-13 in the city approximately three years ago.
At the end of September 2015, “Poison” received a message on his cell phone with the address of an MS-13 chiefs meeting and expressed concern that they were under police surveillance. At the time, he had no idea that he was exchanging messages with a federal police informant, according to the indictment.
All three fugitives were believed to be heavily involved in supervising the smuggling of narcotics into the U.S., destined to the Los Angeles area for Mexican drug cartels based in Tijuana, according to Breitbart law enforcement sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Once in Los Angles, the MS-13 and affiliated criminal gangs would be tasked with distributing the drugs.
Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 originated in the early 1980s, primarily in Los Angeles. A wave of refugees flooded into the U.S. during the time from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua due to the civil wars ravaging Central America. Originally, MS-13 consisted primarily of Salvadorans, but later the gang expanded to other Spanish-speaking nationalities. The gang later started expanding to other cities and states–especially to the northeast.
In October 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury labeled the group a “transnational criminal organization,” the first such designation for a street gang.
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.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org