Officials have revealed that a whopping 19 out of 22 suspects charged in the “medieval-style” killing of seven people in California came into the country illegally in the last three or four years.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles says all of the people being charged are connected to a MS-13 subset called the Fulton clique. A federal indictment released this week revealed that members of the group are suspected in almost 200 crimes in multiple states over the course of nine years.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna called the Fulton clique “the most violent arm” of MS-13.
“We have now taken off the streets nearly two dozen people associated with the most violent arm of MS-13 in Los Angeles,” he said.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, revealed that a majority of the suspects entered the country through illegal means.
People looking to join the gang were “required to kill an MS-13 rival or someone perceived to be adverse to MS-13 to be initiated into MS-13,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
The indictment revealed that this murder initiation ritual for the gang is known as “jumping in.”
“In Los Angeles, a clique added new members through an initiation ritual known as ‘jumping in,’ during which several existing MS-13 members beat up a prospective MS-13 member for 13 seconds while the shot caller counted aloud for 13 seconds,” the indictment read. “Beginning in 2017 in Los Angeles, MS-13 members who identified with ‘503’ had been required to murder a rival or other enemy of the group.”
“503” is the telephone country code for El Salvador and it represents the offshoot group of MS-13.
Authorities also went into detail about the brutal killings allegedly at the hands of the people being charged.
Four killings took place in Angeles National Forest. Authorities said bats, machetes, and knives were used. One rival gang member who was thought to have defaced MS-13 graffiti even had his heart cut out of his chest.
“The victim was dismembered and his body parts were thrown into a canyon after one of the defendants allegedly cut the heart out of the victim’s body,” a press release from Hanna’s office said about the brutal murder.
Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said he thinks this new indictment sends “a message” to MS-13.
Source: Fox News
“Taking violent offenders off the street should send a message to MS-13 members and their associates that medieval-style violence and senseless murder will not be tolerated in Los Angeles,” he said.
All 22 of the people being charged are in police custody. Of the group, only three are over the age of 24. A task force comprised of FBI agents, Los Angeles police officers and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies finished rounding up the suspects being charged in recent days.
“The collaborative law enforcement effort solved several murder cases and dealt a severe blow to members of the gang who engaged in acts of brutality not seen in the region for over 20 years,” Hanna said about the effort to apprehend the suspects.
Though prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty, the crimes are heinous enough that the option is on the table.
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