Singas: Indictments of 17 MS-13 members shows global reach

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced today that 17 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 gang have been indicted by a grand jury. She stated it was one of the biggest gang takedowns her office has ever seen

The Long Island cliques - said to be operating in Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Central Islip, Greenport, Roosevelt and Uniondale - are alleged to be under direct leadership of MS-13 members in El Salvador.

- A Nassau County, Long Island, grand jury indicted 17 people on charges including murder, conspiracy, and drug trafficking.

"Just as large corporations frequently relocate employees where their skills are needed most, MS-13 moves gang members after they commit crimes to evade law enforcement and to perform assigned work elsewhere", Singas said.

According to James Hunt, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's special agent in charge, those arrested included the highest-level MS-13 leader in the Northeast, though officials had not identified him as of late Thursday afternoon.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said the county and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency started the investigation into the gang's activities in May, identifying activities that stretched from NY to New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Texas. Singas said investigators focused on the Long Island "Hollywood" and "Sailors" cliques, or MS-13 operation cells, and added that the information obtained "will be invaluable to law enforcement agencies around the world".

"This massive multi-agency investigation laid bare the global size, complexity and brutality of MS-13, and these indictments strike a heavy blow to the gang's operations on Long Island", Singas said. "These alleged gang members have terrorized vulnerable immigrant communities (and) trafficked deadly heroin into our neighborhoods".

The multiple crimes in the 21-count indictment include murder in the second degree operating as a major trafficker and conspiracy in the second degree. All of the defendants face up to 25 to life in prison if convicted

"We didn't start this case out to get this guy".

Two of the suspects were indicted in connection with the murder of Angel Soler, 16, of Roosevelt, whose mutilated body was found October 19 in remote woods near the Southern State Parkway, where cement was poured over his body. "But through great investigation, we found a pathway to the highest echelons of MS-13 on Long Island".

The indictment includes the murder of Angel Soler, who was 15 when he disappeared in July. Cement had been poured over his body, authorities revealed.

The seven-month investigation also thwarted three separate murder attempts, which were supposed to take place in Nassau County, Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Prince George's County, Maryland. Authorities say the bust involved the prevention of at least three MS-13 gang killings, and that Nassau County alone has made 150 arrests in the past few months.

Authorities also seized 4 kilograms of heroin worth an estimated $1 million, officials said.

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