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13 January 2018, 05:31 | Glen Norman
Two of the suspects were indicted in connection with the murder of 16 year-old Angel Soler
A grand jury in Nassau County, on Long Island just east of New York City, earlier this week indicted the alleged members of MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, on 21 criminal counts that prosecutors said could result in prison sentences for each of 25 years to life.
Singas says they are hoping the takedown will essentially disable two of the major MS-13 cliques on Long Island - the Sailors and Hollywood.
The gang is organized into several sub-groups, or cliques, each of which reports to gang leaders in El Salvador and sends them proceeds from their drug sales, the prosecutors said. It reportedly began as a narcotics trafficking investigation and went worldwide, and officials say gang members all over the world were taken down, including in places like Cuba, Korea, France and Egypt "This massive multi-agency investigation laid bare the global size, complexity, and brutality of MS-13, and these indictments strike a heavy blow to the gang's operations on Long Island", Singas said. "These alleged gang members have terrorized vulnerable immigrant communities (and) trafficked deadly heroin into our neighborhoods".
President Trump has often cited MS-13 activity in his quest for immigration reform. The gang originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s, though it's now led from Central America.
The indictment accuses two defendants, David Sosa Guevara and Victor Lopez, with the murder of a 15-year-old in Nassau County last July. They allegedly buried Soler's body in a wooded area near the Baldwin-Roosevelt border, where it was found on October 19. Soler's remains were one of three sets found close to each other over the course of nine days. Soler's body was mutilated, bearing injuries consistent with the use of a machete, and he suffered blunt force trauma to the head.
The criminal complaint in that case said the suspect acted with others who had not yet been arrested. All of them are suspected members and associates of the vicious MS-13 gang.
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Sheriffs will not go into detail on who received the search warrant nor have they publicly named a person of interest. His parents reported him missing later that morning when they realized he had left the house and never returned home.
According to James Hunt, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's special agent in charge, those arrested included the highest-level MS-13 leader in the Northeast, though officials had not identified him as of late Thursday afternoon.
The investigation, which initially focused on narcotics trafficking, lasted approximately seven months and stretched from NY to New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Texas.
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