U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials today announced the results of stepped up efforts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the departments to target and dismantle MS-13—culminating in the arrest of 267 in the U.S. and overseas.

Photo: Charles Reed/ICE

Photo: Charles Reed/ICE

"Operation Raging Bull" was led by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with support from federal, state, local and international law enforcement partners, and was conducted in support of the Department of Justice's renewed prioritization of the violent transnational gang.

The operation was conducted in two phases, targeting dangerous gang members and their global financial networks. In September, ICE announced the results of the first phase of this operation which netted 53 arrests in El Salvador at the conclusion of an 18-month investigation. The second phase was conducted across the U.S. from Oct. 8 to Nov. 11, and concluded with 214 MS-13 arrests nationwide.

"MS-13 has long been a priority for ICE. However we are now combating the gang with renewed focus and an unprecedented level of cooperation among DHS's components and our domestic and international partners," said Thomas Homan, ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director. "We will not rest until every member, associate, and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes, and those in this country illegally have been removed."

Of the total 214 arrests made in the U.S., 93 were arrested on federal and/or state criminal charges including murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering influenced corrupt organization (RICO) offenses, violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR) offenses, narcotics trafficking, narcotics possession, firearms offenses, domestic violence, assault, forgery, driving under the influence, and illegal entry/reentry. The remaining 121 were arrested on administrative immigration violations.