Recently the Star Tribune reported that Federal officials have arrested more than twice as many gang members this year compared to last year. This year nearly 1,500 gang members were arrested nationwide. The arrest of the gang Surenos 13 has increased this year. This indicates the far reaches of this gang as well as better classification of those arrested.
Surenos means “southernerâ€ and is often used in California prisons to refer to any gang member from southern California. The number 13 represents the letter M which is the 13th letter of the alphabet and symbolizes the gang members’ alliances to the Mexican mafia. Officials have also arrested 273 gang members from MS-13, one of the nation’s largest gangs with 10,000 members in the U.S., Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. There are about 1,000 gangs across the country with the same signifiers as MS-13.
Since 2005, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has arrested more than 11,100 gang members and associates from about 890 gangs. The federal government has partnered with state and local law enforcement throughout the country in arresting gang members on administrative violations that resulted in deportation. Over the past three years, not only has ICE arrested gang members and 145 gang leaders but also has seized 388 firearms.
Even though the number of these arrests seem to be successful, law enforcement agrees that there is more work to be done. With the cooperation of the public working with law enforcement, we can get gang members off the streets, in jail or deported.