Citing a gruesome series of killings in Los Angeles in which one victim was dismembered and whose heart was cut out, a federal grand jury has indicted 22 alleged members or associates of the notorious MS-13 gang on charges that include racketeering and murder.
Five of the seven killings outlined in a new superseding indictment involved the victims’ bodies being dumped in Angeles National Forest, according to court documents.
The new 78-page grand jury indictment says 22 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 Fulton clique, based in the Los Angeles suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, engaged in common street gang business: narcotics sales, robberies, burglaries, and extortion schemes.
“It’s an extensive organization with tentacles throughout the United States and Central America,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “But this is a major step in taking out some of the most violent members.”
But the indictment also details how those charged used horrific violence to control members, protect territory and intimidate rivals.
The case is the culmination of a two-year-long investigation by the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nicola T. Hanna and other officials are expected to provide additional details at a news conference Tuesday morning.