Machete-wielding MS-13 gangsters are merely “mighty munchkins,” according to National Public Radio (NPR) and a left-wing outlet, ProPublica.
“So to hear Trump tell it, MS-13 is this shadowy gang that’s organized across continents with major plans to disrupt the security of the United States border, and what I’m actually seeing is that this gang is settling, basically, high school beefs,” ProPublica’s Hannah Dreier told NPR.
“One detective told me that he called them ‘Mighty Munchkins’ because these are kids who haven’t yet finished their growth spurts, but they team up together in the woods and wreak a lot of carnage,” Dreier said.
The joint report, however, grossly trivialized MS-13’s murders, prostitution, and drug-selling. On June 29, for example, two teenage migrants from El Salvador were charged with murdering a 19-year-old in Prince George’s County, Md.
“President Trump has said MS-13 is ravaging neighborhoods across the United States,” NPR host Noel King said. “And his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has portrayed the gang as a highly sophisticated and organized network.”
“But journalist Hannah Dreier has spent the last year reporting in depth on MS-13 for ProPublica, and what the Trump administration has been saying about the gang doesn’t completely match up with what she’s been seeing on the ground.”
ProPublica is funded in part by far-left billionaire George Soros.
“What I found is that MS-13 looks like a bunch of high school-age boys who are working menial jobs during the day and sometimes going to high school,” Dreier said, adding that “a lot of them are minors.”
Dreier also described MS-13 as smaller than other violent gangs with a stagnant membership.
While the two concede that MS-13 is “very violent,” Dreier said they are more like misguided youth.
“So out on Long Island, there have been two dozen people who’ve been killed in the last two years or so by the gang, and a lot of those killings came back to, basically, trash talk in school hallways or small signs of disrespect,” said Dreier, who King said was “sort of embedded” in New York with gang members.
“What homicide detectives tell me over and over again is that they’re surprised by how baby-faced these killers are,” Dreier said. “They look even younger than they are. They look like preteens sometimes.”
But while Dreier admits that MS-13 is active in New York and Washington, DC, the gang’s crimes there are not detailed in the NPR report.
In early 2018, for example, Ivan Alexis Pena-Rodriguez, 20; Yervin Josue Romero-Rivera, 21; and Miguel Angel Ayala-Rivera, 24, were all formally charged with first-degree assault, plus other assorted criminal counts in Montgomery County, Maryland. All are members of MS-13.
When police served a search warrant at a house near Albert Einstein High School, they found a 15-year-old girl “severely wounded and bloody,” according to WJLA.
On Aug. 1, 2017, the source said Pena-Rodriguez, Romero-Rivera, Ayala-Rivera, plus two other men, used a solid bat to beat the girl behind the single-family home along Valley View Avenue. The men reportedly took turns whacking the 15-year-old girl’s flailing body — 28 swings in total. Her injuries included an “indented” buttocks, discolored arms and legs, and visible bleeding from the neck down.
A second unnamed source would later tell cops that Ayala-Rivera (‘Noctorno’) ordered the backyard clubbing because he felt the victim was “not doing a good job as an MS-13 prostitute.” The same source revealed Ayala-Rivera (‘Noctorno’) raked in a lot of money by trafficking teenage girls to men of all ages.
Here are some of the key findings of the CIS report:
• 506 MS-13 members arrested or charged with crimes that were reported in 22 states. The most cases were reported in California (92), Maryland (85), New York (80), and Virginia (63).
• MS-13 crimes are not primarily petty nuisance crimes; 207 MS-13 members were charged with murder. More than 100 were accused of conspiracy/racketeering, and dozens more for drug trafficking, sex trafficking, attempted murder, sexual assaults, and extortion.
• The median age of MS-13 gang members identified was 23, and suspects ranged in age from 14 to 57.
• The median age of their victims was 19, and victims ranged in age from 14 to 74. Sixty of the victims were under the age of 18, including 52 of the murder victims.
• 120 of the 506 MS-13 suspects in our case set arrived as UACs (Unaccompanied Alien Children), including 48 of the murder suspects.
• The location of these MS-13 crimes corresponds with locations of large numbers of UACs that were resettled into American communities by the federal government.
Follow @PennyStarrDC on Twitter