In Crackdown on MS-13, ICE Arrests Six in Montgomery County

Agency arrested 267 in the U.S. and abroad


Immigration and Customs Enforcement is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested six alleged MS-13 members in Montgomery County as part of a national crackdown on the gang.

The agency announced Thursday that 267 people were arrested in its “Operation Raging Bull,” which targeted suspected members of the international gang. Of the total, 218 were arrested across the U.S. between Oct. 8 and Nov. 11, while the others were arrested in El Salvador in September, according to a press release.

Matthew Bourke, a spokesman for ICE, wrote in an email Friday that the arrests included 35 people in Maryland and six in Montgomery County. Of the six, two were from El Salvador, two were from Honduras, one was from Mexico and another from Guatemala.

Bourke did not have other details, including whether any of the people arrested had been in jail.

MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, has a growing presence in the county and the region. Many of its members are immigrants from El Salvador.

The gang has been linked to a number of violent crimes in the area. On Tuesday, a 21-year-old member of the gang was convicted in the January murder in northern Virginia of Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas, a 15-year-old from Gaithersburg.

Two reported MS-13 members have been charged with the murder of Cristopher Alfredo Funes Guerra in a Silver Spring park in September, and other suspected members from Montgomery County are facing murder charges in Frederick and Anne Arundel counties for bodies recently discovered there. 

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan wrote in a press release that MS-13 “has long been a priority for ICE” and the agency “will not rest until every member, associate, and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes, and those in this country illegally have been removed.”

In September, ICE targeted 11 immigrants in Montgomery County as a crackdown on purported sanctuary jurisdictions, though county officials maintain that the county cooperates with the agency.

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