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'Operation Raging Bull' results in 267 MS-13 arrests

Only five of 198 foreign nationals arrested in US had legal status

WASHINGTON – As part of a joint operation,  267 reported MS-13 gang members have been arrested in the United States and overseas.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials announced the results of stepped up efforts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday, as part of the goal to target and dismantle the gang.

Operation Raging Bull involved cooperation at the federal, state, local and international level.

ICE announced results of the first phase of the two-phase operation in September after 53 arrests in El Salvador after an 18-month investigation.

The second phase, conducted between Oct. 8 and Nov. 11 resulted in 214 MS-13 arrests in the U.S.

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

ICE reports that 16 of the 214 arrested were U.S. citizens and 198 were foreign nationals, of which only five had legal status to be in the U.S. Foreign nationals arrested were from El Salvador (135), Honduras (29), Mexico (17), Guatemala (12), Ecuador (four) and Costa Rica (one).

After Operation Raging Bull, ICE added six MS-13 fugitives to its list of “most wanted” individuals, including one fugitive wanted for homicide in Montgomery County, Texas, and five others wanted for their involvement in the homicide and attempted homicides of El Salvadoran police officers. All are suspected of being somewhere in the U.S.