WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday celebrated what he calls “historic” efforts to take down an international gang.
“We’re here today to provide an update on my administration’s all-out campaign to destroy MS-13,” he said.
In the Oval Office, Attorney General William Barr updated the president on the nation-wide law enforcement mission that led to the arrest of key leaders of the MS-13 gang
“First time we’ve used terrorism charges against a member of MS-13,” Barr said.
Nicolas Trutanich, the United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, said the federal action will protect Americans all across the country.
“It’s another brick in the road on the way down to making our communities safer,” Trutanich said.
Officials at the White House said efforts they’re taking will increase pressure on gang activity.
Zachary Terwilliger, the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said using the terrorism charge will help them take down the leadership in El Salvador.
“Now we’re operating at a level where it’s not just your arrest on the street in Fairfax County Virginia. Now it’s going to be that same arrest that we’re seeking to do in El Salvador,” Terwilliger explained.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Acting Director Matthew Albence believes tackling the organization from both ends will lead to their goal.
“We’re using every one of our authorities to counteract this gang,” Albence said.
As the operation against MS-13 moves forward, the administration promised to continue arresting and deporting members of the gang.
LATEST FROM THE NEXSTAR DC BUREAU:
- ‘This violence must end’: Calls for action on Capitol Hill after latest mass shooting
- White House COVID-19 Response Team announces additional funding to fight COVID-19 variants
- Group seeks to build trust in health care among vaccine-hesitant
- Paycheck Fairness Act passes in House, faces uphill battle in Senate
- Secretary of State makes surprise trip to Afghanistan after Biden announces he’s pulling troops from region