Following MS-13 arrest, Border Patrol asks public to report suspicious activity
Following the recent arrest of a gang member from the notoriously violent street gang MS-13, Border Patrol agents advise residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity in the Rio Grande Valley.
On Oct. 10, agents encountered a Salvadorian national near Falfurrias. Record checks revealed the man was a member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, or MS-13, and had been charged with aggravated homicide in El Salvador in 2011.
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Robert Rodriguez says record checks commonly reveal gang members’ extensive criminal histories, not only in the United States, but in their home countries.
"We encounter them while attempting to illegally enter the United States,” Rodriguez said. “We also encounter them facilitating smuggling loads or as actual smugglers themselves with illegal aliens and narcotics."
More than 1,000 gang members were captured by Border Patrol agents in 2014 nationwide. In 2015, agents caught 800. So far this year, that number is already nearing 500. Rodriguez says agents are working effectively to keep these criminals from existing within our communities.
"The majority of these gang members have very elaborate tattoos,” said Rodriguez. “They're normally very proud of their affiliation to said gangs, so it’s not very hard to identify them. We do, however, encounter some with settle tattoos but we are still able to identify their association to said perspective gang."
In 2016, MS-13 gang members made up 253 of the 702 apprehensions nationwide. Compared to this year, MS-13 members made up 197 of those caught crossing the border illegally.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection asks the public to report suspicious activity at 1-800-863-9382.