DOJ says most MS-13 gang members who have been prosecuted are in U.S. illegally

Approximately 74% of those prosecuted in the last four years were present in America illegally and about 15% had an unknown immigration status. 

Updated: October 22, 2020 - 8:08am

Federal authorities have prosecuted hundreds of MS-13 gang members over the last several years and three-quarters of those defendants were present in the U.S. illegally, according to a new Justice Department report detailing the government's efforts to target the infamously violent gang.

The DOJ says that out of about 749 prosecutions waged against MS-13 members over the last four years more than 500 individuals have been convicted, with 37 of those getting slapped with life sentences.

The department said approximately 74% of those prosecuted were present in America illegally and about 15% had an unknown immigration status. 

As a product of international cooperation, hundreds from MS-13 have been arrested outside of the United States and over 50 individuals from the gang extradited to America.

“In coordination with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department’s law enforcement components have successfully investigated, charged, and arrested command and control elements of MS-13 responsible for particularly heinous crimes against our communities," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. "Joint Task Force Vulcan’s operations have significantly degraded MS-13 capabilities. While there is still work to be done, the Department of Justice remains steadfastly committed to protecting Americans from MS-13, and we will not rest until we have successfully eradicated this violent gang.”

The DOJ's newly released report about the government's work to counter MS-13 is titled "Full Scale Response: A Report on the Department's Efforts to Combat MS-13 from 2016-2020."