U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday formally designated the criminal gang MS-13 as a priority for federal law enforcement, vowing to use agencies ranging from the FBI to Homeland Security and the IRS to dismantle what he described as an organization that “threatens the lives and well-being of each and every family and each and every neighborhood [it] infests,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We will use whatever laws we have to get MS-13 off the streets,” Sessions said.
His remarks, delivered at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia, represented an extension of Sessions' months-long focus on MS-13, a violent gang with links to Central America that police officials have connected to recent killings in Long Island; suburban Washington, D.C.; and elsewhere in the United States.
In the last six months, Sessions has delivered speeches about the group on Long Island and in El Salvador, and promised to prosecute or deport members responsible for crime.
Sessions said that by designating MS-13 as a priority for the Justice Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, investigators from a number of federal agencies could use a variety of tactics to “dismantle” the group. As an example, he pointed toward how Al Capone's downfall came due to tax violations, as opposed to widely suspected criminal conduct.