Cecilia DowdNov 17, 2017, 9:22 pmNov 20, 2017, 12:25 pm

‘Operation Raging Bull’ yields 38 arrests of alleged MS-13 gang members on Long Island

International effort by ICE also targeted financial networks


LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Two hundred sixty-seven alleged members of the MS-13 street gang have been rounded up in an international operation led by federal law enforcement. Dozens of those arrests happened right locally. MS-13 has been terrorizing local communities and has been blamed in the brutal murders of several local teenagers.

The alleged members were arrested in a sweep the feds are calling "Operation Raging Bull." Authorities say 38 arrests were made on Long Island, two in Manhattan and one in Hudson Valley.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation didn't just target gang members, but also their international financial networks.

The operation consisted of two phases. The first part was an 18-month investigation that led to 53 arrests in El Salvador. The second part was conducted from Oct. 8 to Nov. 11 in the United States with a total of 214 arrests.

Of those 214 arrested, authorities say 16 were U.S. citizens and 198 were foreign nationals, of which only five had legal status in the country.

Charges faced by those arrested in the U.S. include murder, aggravated robbery, narcotics trafficking, domestic violence, assault and illegal entry/reentry.

ICE provided photos and video on its website.

As FiOS1 News has reported, Long Island, particularly Suffolk County, has an MS-13 presence that has cast it in the national spotlight. Authorities have linked the deaths of four young men killed in a Central Islip park and the murders of two Brentwood teens to the gang known for its brutally violent measures.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who came to Long Island earlier this year to talk about combatting MS-13, said in a statement:

"With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today."

Sessions said efforts are yielding results and added that the 267 arrests are the next step in making the country safer by taking MS-13 off the streets for good.

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