MS-13 Gang Member Apprehended at Border

U.S. southern border
The U.S.-MexicGetty Images
April 7, 2021

Federal authorities arrested an MS-13 gang member in California on Wednesday after he illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection border patrol agents detained the 28-year-old foreign national outside Campo, Calif., on Wednesday afternoon. The detainee, who federal authorities confirmed is a documented member of the violent MS-13 gang, came to California by way of El Salvador. He was arrested alongside five other men illegally entering the United States.

The group of six included a Mexican national, a Honduran national, and three other Salvadorans. Border agents will process all six foreign nationals for removal from the United States.

CBP San Diego sector chief patrol agent Aaron Heitke praised the work of his team for apprehending a documented gang member.

"I’m proud of the great work by our agents arresting this gang member," said Heitke in a press release. "Their hard work keeps our neighborhoods safe."

Former attorney general Bill Barr identified MS-13 as a top priority for the Justice Department given the gang’s history of violent crimes, which include drug trafficking, murder, and weapons possession among their charges. A 2020 Justice Department report found during the Trump administration 74 percent of criminally charged MS-13 members were in the United States illegally.

The arrest marks only the latest in a surge of illegal immigration at the Mexican border, with some migrants having violent backgrounds. On Tuesday, federal authorities announced they caught two Yemeni terror suspects crossing the border but, shortly afterward, deleted their announcement without explanation. A CBP spokesman later cited insufficient vetting of the announcement as the reason for deletion.