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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    15 Central American Gang Members Arrested For Multiple California Murders

    15 Central American Gang Members Arrested For Multiple California Murders

    JP CARROLL
    National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
    3:30 PM 03/04/2016

    A policeman custodies a surrounding area of a prison where 14 members of the Barrio 18 group were killed in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

    Over a dozen MS-13 gang members from Honduras and El Salvador were arrested in California Wednesday, according to a law enforcement press conference Thursday.


    The murder rate in Santa Maria, Calif., where the 15 gang members were arrested, has gone up significantly since 2015, and police attribute the spike in homicides to the increased presence of the MS-13 gang.


    MS-13 has been classified as a transnational criminal organization (TCO) by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2012. The West Coast hub for the organization is the Los Angeles area, while on the East Coast, MS-13 calls Washington, D.C. home.

    The gang has its roots in El Salvador, but is made up of various Central American members from Honduras and Guatemala as well.

    A total of 150 law enforcement officers participated in “Operation Matador,” and several of the 15 gang members were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

    Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin, who led Thursday’s press conference, told reporters the arrests were the result of many months of investigation and reportedly prevented six murders.


    The gang came to Santa Maria about a year and a half ago intent on ruling the drug trade. MS-13 has approximately 50,000 members across the United States.


    http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/04/15...#ixzz41yOsh6hZ

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  2. #2
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    The gang came to Santa Maria about a year and a half ago intent on ruling the drug trade. MS-13 has approximately 50,000 members across the United States.
    These are the border surgers taken in & placed amongst us in the last few yrs by O admin.

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Santa Maria Operation Matador Supects Appear in Court

    16 alleged international gang members charged in high profile case

    Keith Carls
    POSTED: 05:53 AM PST Mar 05, 2016
    UPDATED: 06:03 AM PST Mar 05, 2016





    SANTA MARIA, Calif. -
    More than a dozen alleged international gang members arrested in connection with a string of recent homicides in Santa Maria made their first appearance in court Friday.

    No pleas were entered and all of the defendants were given a court-appointed defense attorney.

    They are being held in Santa Barbara County Jail and will return to court later this month for formal arraignment on conspiracy to commit murder and other gang-related charges.

    "Conspiracy to commit murder doesn’t mean that you actually have to commit the crime itself of murder", says Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Gresser, "you are conspiring to commit murder and you committed some overt acts towards the commission of that crime."

    A local criminal defense attorney we spoke with says the conspiracy to commit murder charges reflects a lack of evidence that can directly link any of the 16 defendants named in the case to each of the homicides Santa Maria Police say they are responsible for.

    "There’s further investigation into those murders and at this point we haven’t made any filing decisions with regard to any of the previous murders", Gresser says, "the only filing decisions we’ve made at this point are the charges that have been filed against these defendants."

    In announcing Operation Matador at a press conference on Thursday, Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin said all of the defendants are from El Salvador or Honduras and are linked to a notoriously brutal international gang known as MS-13.

    "We’re asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement and others that are doing their backgrounds, we’re trying to get as much information on them as we can", Chief Martin said Thursday, "many of them have two, three or four names, so we’re trying to identify them as best we can not just through fingerprinting but by other agencies to see if they have cases on file with their fingerprints."

    Since their immigration status is in question, the defense attorney we spoke with says its possible if any of the 16 defendants make bail, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, could detain and deport those involved who come under their jurisdiction.

    "Its completely independent of our state prosecution", Gresser says, "any type of immigration consequence is completely independent of the state criminal prosecution."

    Three of the 16 defendants in the case arrested in other locations, including Bakersfield and Columbus, Ohio, are expected to make their first appearances in court and be appointed defense attorneys next week.

    All 16 are then expected to return to Santa Maria Superior Court for formal arraignment on March 18.

    http://www.keyt.com/news/santa-maria...court/38354684
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