MS-13 gang is a violent group engaged in the drug, sex, and human trafficking trades in the US. Designating MS-13 gang a transnational criminal organization helps US officials target it more aggressively.
For the first time, a street gang operating in the United States has been officially designated a transnational criminal organization, empowering officials to more aggressively target the group, Mara Salvatrucha MS-13, which engages in the drug, sex, and human trafficking trades.
Naming the gang a transnational criminal organization suggests how the group has evolved from being primarily a criminal element in Central American immigrant communities to a regional organized crime network delving into a range of illegal markets, experts in North and Central American crime patterns say.
The designation, announced by the Treasury Department Thursday, aims at shutting down MS-13’s financial operations, which have grown increasingly sophisticated as the gang has matured from its roots in Los Angeles among young Salvadoran refugees escaping their country’s civil war in the 1980’s.