Detective: MS-13 Using Kids to ‘Bolster’ Ranks, ‘Commit Violent Crimes’

MS-13-Suspects
Photo: ABC13 Video Screenshot
Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The leadership of the notoriously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang in El Salvador is intentionally deploying unaccompanied kids to enter the United States illegally and bolster their ranks as well as “commit acts of violence” once inside the country, a member of an FBI gang task force tells lawmakers.

Among the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) allegedly sent by MS-13 leaders could be young kids who are already “serial killers,” warned the official.

In written testimony, Scott Conley, a detective for the Chelsea Police Department in Massachusetts and member of the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force, explained to members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:

Once the unaccompanied minors arrive at their destination, whether it’s Boston or somewhere else in the United States, the MS gang members (paros, chequeos, and homeboys) report and join cliques [factions] in their new cities. Those unaccompanied minors not in the gang are approached and recruited. Those that refuse are threatened to join the gang. These threats range from simple assaults or threats to kill their relatives in El Salvador. Either way, the unaccompanied minors fleeing the violence are sucked into the gangs upon their arrival in the United States.

As such, MS clique membership continues to grow, not only in Boston, but throughout the United States.

On Wednesday, Conley testified alongside other law enforcement officials from MS-13 hot-spots across the U.S. about the threat the gang poses to the United States.

During the hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), the panel’s chairman, revealed that a whistleblower turned over documents showing that former President Barack Obama’s administration released more than a dozen illegal alien teenagers, determined to be MS-13 members, into U.S. communities.

The detective revealed:

Based on interviews, law enforcement investigation, and coordination meetings with the Transnational Anti-Gang Unit (TAG) in El Salvador, the [FBI] North Shore Gang Task Force determined the following three types of unaccompanied minors:

  1. Minors not associated with MS or 18th Street fleeing the violence and sent to the U.S. by either their mother or father to live with a relative.
  2. Minors who are “paros” and “chequeos” [MS-13 gang members] sent by their mother or father, who wrongfully believe that by sending their children to U.S. will get their child out of the gang.
  3. La Ranfla [El Salvador-based MS-13 leadership] wants their homeboys/assassins in the U.S. to commit acts of violence.

Citing Department of Justice (DOJ) data, the law enforcement officials revealed that “more than” 10,000 MS-13 gang members are operating in “at least” 46 states and the nation’s capital.

“In El Salvador, MS recruit children as young as eleven or twelve years old,” noted the Massachusetts detective, later adding, “Thus, many times, by the time a child is fifteen years old, they are already serial killers.”

The Senate panel witnesses told lawmakers that the majority of U.S.-based MS-13 members have connections to three countries in Central America — El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — where MS-13 maintains a significant presence.

Referring to the U.S. population of unaccompanied illegal children, which skyrocketed under Obama, Timothy Sini, the commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department in New York declared, “While the overwhelming majority of these children live law-abiding lives, UACs are undoubtedly a source of recruitment for MS-13.”

Authorities have identified NY’s Suffolk County as an MS-13 hot spot.

Commissioner Sini said that the majority of MS-13 members in his jurisdiction are believed to be illegal aliens.

“Of a sampling of 143 active gang members plus 11 MS-13 victims, 89 [nearly 60 percent] entered the United States illegally and currently do not have legal status,” Sini told Senators.

Of the 89 illegals, 39 [about 45 percent] entered the country as “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” noted the police commissioner, adding that “48 are of unknown immigration status, and 17 have legal status (temporary or otherwise).”

Sini proclaimed that there are an estimated 400 MS gang members in Suffolk County alone, noting that the gang has been linked to 17 murders since last year.

“In Suffolk County, MS-13 engages in a variety of criminal activity, including, but not limited to, assaults, murder, drug dealing, extortion, robberies and burglaries,” he testified, adding that “in 2016, the most frequent reported crime connected to MS-13 was assault. The signature weapon used by MS-13 is the machete.”

“Active MS-13 gang members are predominantly males ranging in age from 16 to 29,” he also said. “The median age of recent MS-13 arrestees is 18, however, we have become aware of associates as young as 10 years of age.”

Although the majority of UAC kids are fleeing violence in their home country, a “small portion” are MS-13 gang members, declared Conley.

“The smallest group of unaccompanied minors are ‘homeboys’ [seasoned gang members] being sent by the gang to bolster the ranks of MS cliques operating in the United States,” he said.

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