Justice Dept. plans crackdown on violent street gangs, including - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Justice Dept. plans crackdown on violent street gangs, including MS-13

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(AP/KSBY) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will crack down on violent gangs.
Sessions on Tuesday called out one organization, in particular, the MS-13 street gang, members of which are suspected in the killings of four people last week in Long Island. Sessions says in prepared remarks that gangs like MS-13 "represent one of the gravest threats to American safety."

He says tougher enforcement of immigration and border crimes will curb gang activity. And he says cities that protect people in the country illegally make efforts to fight gang violence more difficult. He says so-called sanctuary cities are "aiding these cartels to refill their ranks."

Sessions was speaking before a meeting with federal law enforcement officials to discuss ways to combat organized crime.

In 2016, more than a dozen suspected MS-13 gang members were arrested in connection with several homicides and attempted homicides in Santa Maria. Most are still waiting to enter pleas in court. Their next court appearance is scheduled for June 2.

Related coverage:
Arraignment continued again for Santa Maria MS-13 gang suspects

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