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Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have brought terrorism charges against MS-13’s “board of directors” — the leaders of the notorious gang responsible for scores of murders and a trail of mutilated bodies in New York.
The US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York on Thursday indicted the notorious gang’s leaders for conspiracy to provide and conceal material support to terrorists and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries.
Prosecutors say they’re charging the 14 highest-ranking members of the transnational gang — 11 of whom are already behind bars, mostly in El Salvador. Three others are the subject of a manhunt by the FBI, the sources said.
Federal authorities are seeking to extradite the jailed suspects to the US, sources said.
Three others — Hugo Armando Quinteros-Mineros, Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios and Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada — are the subject of a federal manhunt by the FBI.
Among the jailed suspects is Borromeo Enrique Henriquez, who is known as “Diablito de Hollywood” and is considered one of the gang’s most powerful members, prosecutors said.
The suspects make up the “Ranfla Nacional” — or the gang’s ruling body.
“The FBI is committed to combatting all forms of terrorism that threaten the American people as well as our international partners,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.
“Ranfla Nacional” grew out of a hierarchical ruling body of the gang that was formed in 2002 in a Salvadoran prison and was named the “Twelve Apostles of the Devil,” according to the 31-page federal indictment.
Henriquez was among the founding members of the group — with other present-day leaders of the gang also sporting menacing nicknames like “Crook de Hollywood,” “Tigre de Park View,” and “Rata de Leewards,” prosecutors said.
The Ranfla set all rules for gang members throughout the globe, with their approval required before a member could enter the US.
The ruling body also issued “green lights” — an execution order — to eliminate rivals, disloyal gang members, or law enforcement personnel, the indictment said.
For instance, in 2004 the MS-13 leadership ordered a green light to eliminate all members of the gang’s Coronados “clique” because it was feuding with other branches of the gang, prosecutors said.
The Ranfla could also “open the valves,” signaling authority to commit murders, or “close the valves” if the order was rescinded, the feds said.
The vicious gang, which has reached around the globe and has long been active locally on Long Island, is responsible for scores of murders and a trail of mutilated bodies.
President Trump has twice visited Long Island to address the gang’s violence and has met privately with the families of MS-13 victims.
The gang grew out of an LA street gang peopled in part by Salvadoran immigrants in the 1980s, and evolved into one of the nation’s most violent criminal organizations.
MS-13 now has tens of thousands of members in more than 200 cliques worldwide, including in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and the US, the indictment said.
They grew so powerful in El Salvador that they influenced the government’s oversight over the Central American nation through bribes, intimidation, and threats — even declaring war on the country’s cops in recent years.
They fund their operations through drug trafficking, extortion, and kidnappings, prosecutors said.
MS-13 members are considered ruthless, with the machete their preferred tool to punish enemies and take revenge on those deemed disloyal.
“MS-13 is responsible for a wave of death and violence that has terrorized communities, leaving neighborhoods on Long Island and throughout the Eastern District of New York in bloodshed,” Acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement.
“Even when incarcerated the Ranfla Nacional continued to direct MS-13s global operations, recruit new members, including children, into MS-13 and orchestrate murder and mayhem around the world,” he said.
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