MS-13 Gang Leader Arrested on Terror Charges

( – One of the leaders of the notorious El Salvadorian gang, MS-13, was arrested on Sunday, June 9th. Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios was detained upon landing at the George Bush Airport in Houston, Texas, where officers from the FBI and Homeland Security were lying in wait. The arrest marked the end of a three-year period on the run from the law.

Lopez-Larios was one of the so-called “Twelve Apostles of the Devil,” a nickname for the criminals who founded the MS-13 gang. He is reported to have sat on the gang’s “Ranfla Nacional”, the name ascribed to the gang’s leadership team. From this position, authorities say he spent decades ordering terrible acts of violence to be carried out against the gang’s victims.

MS-13 was founded in the 1980s in Los Angeles by El Salvadorian immigrants. Initially, the gangs aimed to protect their fellow El Salvadorians from other gangs in the area, but it has since expanded into other parts of the U.S. and Latin America. Prosecutors say that the gang’s criminal activities in New York have turned some areas of the city into “war zones.”

The gang is said to be responsible for a multitude of crimes since its formation, including narcotics offenses, kidnapping, extortion, and murder. The gang is also said to have sent proceeds of crimes committed on American soil to its leaders in El Salvador. In one headline-grabbing act of violence, an MS-13 associate murdered and then dismembered an Uber Eats driver in Florida. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, speaking just after the April 2023 killing, described the killer as “demonic.”

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace celebrated the arrest of Lopez-Lario as another step towards “dismantling” the gang. Two more gang associates remain on the run, and authorities have offered a $20,000 reward for information that leads to their arrest. The charges against Lopez-Larios include conspiracy to commit narco-terrorism, conspiracy to provide material to support terrorism, and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism across international lines.

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