MS-13 Described as one of the World’s Most Dangerous Gangs.

Murder, rape and drug trafficking are some crimes attributed to its members.

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New Port Richey, Florida – Mara Salvatrucha, better known as the MS-13 gang, is one of the most feared gangs in the United States, with an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 members.

The gang originally was composed of Salvadorian nationals but now includes people associated with the Northern Triangle countries in Central America, including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The FBI released a threat assessment 15 years ago as MS-13 began expanding in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

According to that bulletin, “They perpetuate violence— from assaults to homicides, using firearms, machetes or blunt objects—to intimidate rival gangs, law enforcement, and the general public.”

MS-13 operates in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia, engaging in criminal activity, including murder, rape, prostitution, drug distribution, home invasions, kidnapping, carjackings, and vandalism.

While the FBI says most of the violence is directed at immigrants who are reluctant to report crimes to police or rival gang members, innocent citizens often get caught in the crossfire.

An MS-13 leader is listed among the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives. Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias is the alleged MS-13 leader for Honduras who was charged with providing support and resources to the gang in the form of firearms, narcotics, and cash.

His wanted poster says he was responsible for moving tons of cocaine through Honduras to the United States and for ordering and participating in murders of rival gang members.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested 37 gang members believed to be responsible for murders in Massachusetts.

In the affidavit filed in that case, the FBI said, “Mata, viola, controla” — translated “kill, rape, control”—is the gang’s motto.

This report taken from ABC action News Article dated 4/25/2023.