BALTIMORE (WJZ)– MS-13 is known for it’s ruthlessness and federal prosecutors have indicted more than 40 members in recent months.
Court documents provide more insight into how the gang works as Anne Arundel County announced eight more arrests.
Some say once you’re in it’s hard to ever get out alive, and gang members are very young. Those recently indicted range in age from 18 to 22. Some of them trafficked guns and drugs that went straight to Central America.
As federal authorities have cracked down on the estimated 1,000 MS-13 gang members in Maryland, court documents WJZ obtained revealed new information about operations.
After being relatively quiet for years, the gang designed the Maryland program to take back the East Coast by recruiting more young people and funneling more money to gang leaders in El Salvador.
Recently several gang members did something rare and dangerous: they spoke out.
“Is that what I’m going for? Taking somebody’s loved one and hurting them?” one member said. “What if they took somebody from me?”
Anyone who gets in the way of MS-13 pays a bloody price. Gang members stabbed Christian Morales more than 100 times in a Maryland park.
“My son was an amazing person,” said mother Bertha Morales. “He was so good with me, and he never walked an unrighteous path.”
Court records show the leader of MS-13’s Maryland program called Anne Arundel home. Authorities there have dealt with a surge in violence this year.
This week, the U.S. attorney charged eight more members for plotting murders and extorting cash payments, what they called “taxes” from people.
“They’re everywhere. They’re everywhere. Anywhere you go, they’ll find out,” a member said.
In Maryland, higher ups or “shot callers” carry out orders from El Salvador. Despite the attention their brutal crimes have gotten from law enforcement they remain resurgent.
There have also been a string of killings in New York on Long Island, and the governor there has state police stationed in high schools to combat MS-13.
Anne Arundel County police and prosecutors have started a task force to combat MS-13 along with help from the FBI.