Feds indict 26 in Atlanta street gang

Thursday, March 4, 2010 6:06 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 9, 2010 9:11 AM
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ATLANTA  - More than two dozen members of a violent national street gang are charged with racketeering and other crimes in metro Atlanta in a federal indictment unsealed today.

Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Yates speaks to the press in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday, March 4, 2010 with (from left) Paul Jones, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Ken Smith, special agent in charge of ICE Office of Investigations, standing behind her at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building. More than two dozen members of a violent transnational street gang are charged with racketeering and other crimes in metro Atlanta in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.  AP
AP
Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Yates speaks to the press in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday, March 4, 2010 with (from left) Paul Jones, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Ken Smith, special agent in charge of ICE Office of Investigations, standing behind her at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building. More than two dozen members of a violent transnational street gang are charged with racketeering and other crimes in metro Atlanta in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

The 26 gang members are charged with various crimes, including seven murders, 14 attempted murders, kidnapping and robbery, the indictment says.

They are associated with the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang, which originated in Central America and now operates throughout the U.S., Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said at a news conference. The gang was first detected in suburban Gwinnett and DeKalb counties in 1998 but became significantly more violent starting in 2005, she said.

The gang members used violence and threats to frighten their victims and community members to keep them from helping law enforcement agents identify, catch and prosecute them, the indictment says.

"This case is really a culmination of a battle that is being fought in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties and has been for the last 10 years," said Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter. "In my opinion, this is not the end. This is a serious blow to MS-13 but the battle will continue."

Metro Atlanta has become a distribution hub for Mexican drug cartels, but Yates said MS-13 is based in other Central American countries and is not connected to the Mexican cartels. MS-13 tends to be motivated more by status and gaining territory than by profit, she said.

Of the 26 people listed in the indictment, 22 are in custody. Most are illegal immigrants who will face criminal prosecution in this country before they are deported, said Kenneth Smith of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which spearheaded the two-year investigation with help from various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

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wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/04/10 - 06:24 pm
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all of these gangs and drug

all of these gangs and drug cartels in the u.s., mexico, central and south america can be eliminated by legalizing drugs. like in europe. this is not my idea. comes from watching interviews with d.e.a. personnel.

J.W.
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J.W. 03/04/10 - 06:24 pm
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Quote: "Most are illegals".

Quote: "Most are illegals". They are not citizens, so why give them a trial at all? Straight to prison, do not pass goal, do not collect $200. Oh, I forgot Obama says we have to provide terrorists and other non-citizens of this country a trial. Bull! P.S. Send all the illegals home! Come on INS--Do your job.

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/04/10 - 06:46 pm
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conservative media-"fox

conservative media-"fox news", the last few days has been raising the subject of legalizing drugs. interesting dialogue. what might happen? for sure that gangs would have no source of income. perhaps a doctors prescription required. the "war on drugs" never has worked--never will work. identical to prohibition.

Top Site
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Top Site 03/04/10 - 07:33 pm
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As a retired Agent In Charge

As a retired Agent In Charge of a DEA office, I don't think you will ever hear a DEA person advocate the legalization of heroin, power cocaine, crack cocaine, meth or any other drug that will destroy lives in a heartbeat.

Also as a gang identification consultant who has given training classes all over the U.S., the news article was completely wrong when the author reported that the Mara Salvatrucha originated in Central America.

The gang formed in the Rampart Division of Los Angeles and it formed as result of Salvadoran refugees fleeing a civil war. Like many gangs, the youth formed the gang for self protection but the U.S. conducted huge sweeps and roundups and many were returned to Central America where their numbers may exceed 250,000. There are reportedly tens of thousands MS-13's in the U.S.

For more information on the MS-13 visit this page from my main web site Gangs OR Us at http://www.gangsorus.com

Top Site
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Top Site 03/04/10 - 07:39 pm
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My apologies........ I meant

My apologies........

I meant to provide the direct link to the Mara Salvatrucha

page on my web site........check it out.

http://www.gangsorus.com/marasalvatrucha13.html

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/04/10 - 08:01 pm
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top site-what percentage of

top site-what percentage of drugs did you catch-as opposed to what got in? is the problem getting worse or better? the interview i watched on fox news said that marijuana use in holland went down after it was legalized. 14 states have legal pot. hard drugs--not my understanding. europe does not have gang problems like here. witness juarez, mexico last year. 1600 murders. and what about "your" legal drugs--500,000 dead from cigarettes last year ??

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/04/10 - 08:09 pm
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top site--answer this one

top site--answer this one simple question, "what would happen to all the drug cartels if drugs were legal" ???

wyochuck
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wyochuck 03/04/10 - 08:18 pm
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top site--no person who

top site--no person who actually retired from a high ranking d.e.a. position would say that in a public forum.

corgimom
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corgimom 03/04/10 - 08:20 pm
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Those MS-13 gang members are

Those MS-13 gang members are terrorists. They started out as guerilla fighters in San Salvador and have no fear of anything. This isn't about legalizing drugs. They just had a trial in Charlotte for a bunch of MS-13 members, and they were all convicted. I know somebody that was a part of that trial. She told me that because of what she saw and heard, she will have nightmares for the rest of her life.

And yes, there will always be gangs that deal in drugs. Look at the Oxycontin and Vicodin addicts that we have now. There is this bizarre idea that doctors will cheerfully write prescriptions for any amount of drug needed, for anybody. It just doesn't work that way. And for addicts, there never is a therapeutic dose. There is no such thing as "enough" to an addict.

Damon Cline
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Damon Cline 03/04/10 - 10:30 pm
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The story behind these Latino

The story behind these Latino gangs is the same in every southern city. They come as immigrants to work in factories, slaughterhouses, construction companies and landscape outfits. They live in apartments and rental units. Neither they nor their children integrate into mainstream society. The kids form gangs to earn money and "protect themselves" from rival ethnic gangs. This goes undetected by mainstream society until they have established a stronghold and then authorities have to try to crack down on an organization that is difficult to infiltrate. It's happened in Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and it will happen here as long as we keep allowing undocumented illegals to work in our cities and towns and keep building a steady supply of apartment complexes for them to dwell in. Are you listening Columbia County?

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 03/04/10 - 10:19 pm
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Even if the DEA can't handle

Even if the DEA can't handle the thought of legalizing drugs, decriminalizing them should be easier to swallow (no pun) and would greatly reduce the profit. Then, the feds can turn their attention to the criminals in congress.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 03/04/10 - 10:32 pm
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i ask..... if the bloods and

i ask..... if the bloods and crips duke it out in prison over who controls the drugs inside the prison.... how can u ever stop it? when the brits were dumping opium all over china and the chinese stopped it the brits went to war with china. its MONEY, bankers, google the opium wars

reader54
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reader54 03/05/10 - 08:34 am
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Mr. DEA: Heroin is already

Mr. DEA: Heroin is already legal. The only difference is that it has been synthesized into opiate derived pain killers. You know, the ones that celebrities, professionals and whoever else wants them can easily get from doctors and provided by Big Pharm. We can't cut into their profits because they OWN the politicians. Synthetic cocaine is also utilized in certain eye surgeries. The point is that people that want drugs will get them regardless if they are legal or not. Just as with alcohol. At least if they were legal, we could monitor who receives them and wipe out the violence and cost associated with fighting another unwinnable war. It's simply a choice between the lesser of two evils.

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