A half dozen young men believed to be members of the violent MS-13 street gang are facing a litany of criminal charges including murder and racketeering in connection with multiple crimes.
According to Fox News, each of the suspects — who ranged in age from 19 to 22 — were detained in Annapolis, Maryland, where they all lived.
The charges against them are a mixture of state and federal counts. The defendants were not identified by name in the latest updates available and their immigration statuses were not confirmed.
As of early reports, the six men had not made their first court appearances.
Among the crimes allegedly committed by individuals in the latest round of indictments are a 2016 murder in Annapolis.
Authorities say 20-year-old Juan Carlos Sandoval Rodriguez convinced the victim to enter a park where he was ambushed and killed by multiple gang members. The crime is believed to have been committed in an attempt to positively influence the participants’ standing within the gang’s ranks.
With domestic membership authorities say reaches into the thousands, MS-13 has been a consistent focus for the Trump administration and its Justice Department.
In comments he made last year during a conference of police chiefs, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had empowered law enforcement to “use whatever laws” they deem necessary to take MS-13 members off the streets.
“Now, they will go after MS-13 with a renewed vigor and a sharpened focus,” he said. “I am announcing that I have authorized them to use every lawful tool to investigate MS-13 — and not just our drug laws, but everything from RICO racketeering to our tax laws to our firearms laws.”
[Featured image: Stock photo/Associated Press]