The Trump Department of Justice charged 22 alleged members of the notorious MS-13 street gang with seven murders including a murder where a rival gang member was chopped up and dismembered with a machete.
The indictment, which was unsealed Monday, focused on members of a Los Angeles-area subset of MS-13 known as the Fulton clique. Prosecutors called the San Fernando Valley-based gang a “particularly violent subset” of MS-13 that “has recently seen an influx of young immigrants from Central America.”
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said the Fulton Clique were responsible for 24 different murders over the course of two years.
The latest indictment charges the 22 alleged gang members under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. In addition to seven murders, they are accused of attempted murder and trafficking more than $1.2 million in drugs.
The indictment alleges gang leaders authorized and coordinated the murders of rival gang members, people who were believed to be working with law enforcement, and one homeless man who lived in a park in Hollywood controlled by the gang.
The DoJ described the murders in a press release as “especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in that [they] involved torture or serious physical abuse to the victim.”
The indictment describes one grisly murder in which a rival gang member was kidnapped and taken to Angeles National Forest. He was allegedly attacked and killed by six MS-13 members wielding machetes.
“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,” prosecutors said.
Most of the defendants entered the United States illegally.
Nineteen of the 22 defendants charged in the indictment had entered the country illegally in the last four years, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Several of the victims described in the indictment were also new arrivals to the U.S. from Central America, officials said.
The defendants listed in the indictment are: German Hernandez, Angel Guzman, Ever Morales, Fernando Parada, Jose Baquiax Alvarez, Kevin Gomez, Kevin Arteaga, Edgar Velasquez, Walter Chavez Larin, Yefri Revelo, Wilfredo Vides, Gerardo Alvarado, Roberto Carlos Mendez Cruz, Bryan Alberto Ordones, Roberto Alejandro Corado Ortiz, Edwin Issac Mendez, Josue Balmore Flores Castro, Luis Arturo Gonzalez, Edwin Martinez, Steven Emmanuel Linares, Marco Antonio Ramos and Erick Eduardo Rosales Arias.
The Los Angeles Times takes care to point out in the middle of an article discussing 24 gruesome, violent machete murders committed by illegal aliens that “MS-13 has also become a bogeyman used by President Trump to justify stronger immigration enforcement by linking the issue to crime.”
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