Nearly 5,000 MS-13 Gang Members Arrested by ICE over Past 5 Years

Men said to be gang members after being arrested during police operation
Luis Rivera/Reuters

Nearly 5,000 members of the hyper-violent MS-13 gang have been arrested in the United States since 2005 according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statement released on Wednesday. The arrest occurred as part of “Operation Community Shield” which paired Homeland Security agents with other federal law agencies, state county and even city police targeting gang members. The numbers are staggering. 36,000 total arrests linking to 2,600 gangs. 46 were repeat violent offenders, and more than 6,600 firearms taken off the streets.

Since the middle part of February, a separate offensive “Project Wildfire” has pulled arrests in 282 cities as reported earlier on Thursday by Breitbart Texas. Close to 1,000 arrests included many members of transnational gangs.

“These groups can spread like cancer, that’s why ICE works with law enforcement around the country to stamp out gang activity…” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldana said in a news release obtained by Breitbart Texas.

Breitbart Texas has been documenting the virtual invasion of Texas and the United States by the Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 gang from smugglers, or coyotes, being caught in Brooks County in December more than 90 miles from the border, and other MS-13 members found along the border in La Grulla and Rio Grande City.

Brietbart archives list convictions ranging gang and weapons violations to murder from New York, to San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

Almost 200 of the arrests were foreign nationals from five continents. The arrests ranged from immigration violations to open warrants for murder and rape.

In Texas, the focus of the efforts took place in Lubbock, where 122 known or suspected gang members were cuffed and hauled away. Gang members from the Bloods, Crips, Rolling 60’s, Mexican Mafia, Raza Unida, West Texas, Surenos, Aryan Brotherhood, White Aryan Resistance, West Side, Gangster Disciples, Peckerwood, Texas Syndicate and West Texas Tango were all guests at the Lubbock County Jail over the last six weeks.

On a national level, the seized drugs stacked up with over 12 pounds of cocaine, 17 pounds of marijuana and 11.5 pounds of methamphetamine.

Just about $380,000 in cash, 82 weapons, five vehicles and just more than a half million dollars of counterfeit merchandise.

A letter from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was sent to President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner, last year pleading about the flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, saying “MS-13, one of the world’s most notorious international gangs, has strong ties to several of the Central American countries from which these aliens are arriving.”

While the gang started in Los Angeles in the mid 1980’s, its current estimated strength is approaching 70,000, and the majority of its members are from El Salvador.

Rob Milford is a news contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Facebook.