Washington (AFP) - US authorities announced Thursday that 214 members of the notorious MS-13 gang had been arrested in a one-month sweep around the country.
More than half of those picked up in the action which was led by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, were arrested on immigration violations. But 93 were dealt federal criminal charges including murder, robbery, drugs and racketeering.
The largest part of the group, 135, were from El Salvador, followed by Honduras and Mexico.
The sweep was part of a joint action together with El Salvador, the base for MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha. In September Salvadoran authorities announced the arrest of 53 MS-13 members.
The gang, which is spread across the United States as well as Central America, has become a focus of President Donald trump's crackdown on crime, which he claims has surged as a result of borders easily crossed by gang members.
"With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
"That's why I have ordered our drug trafficking task forces to use every law available to arrest, prosecute, convict, and defund MS-13. And we are getting results."