via LA Times by Richard Winton, Hailey Branson-Potts
Twenty-one people accused of being part of the notoriously violent MS-13 gang were arrested Wednesday as federal and local investigators forced their way into homes and businesses across Los Angeles County in a pre-dawn sweep that came as a result of a more than two-year racketeering investigation.
The detainees were among 44 gang suspects facing federal charges — including murder and racketeering — listed in a 41-count federal indictment unsealed Wednesday, officials said. Twenty suspects were already in custody, and three are considered fugitives.
Acting U.S. Atty. Sandra Brown said the operation against MS-13 was the largest ever conducted in Los Angeles and is expected to “deal a critical blow to its leadership.”
A significant number of those named in the indictment are in the U.S. illegally, Brown said.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, preys on immigrants without legal status.
“They extort them. They rob them. They rape them. They murder them. Without their cooperation as witnesses, none of this would be possible,” Beck said, noting that LAPD officers do not check immigration statuses before talking to witnesses.
The complete story here > Early morning raids end in arrests of nearly two dozen MS-13 gang suspects