Notorious Hispanic gang reaches into Oklahoma

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday added MS-13 to its formal list of transnational criminal organizations, meaning its members are known to cooperate across national borders. The designation opens the doors to a multinational crackdown on the gang’s finances and operations.

A Hispanic gang known nationwide for being well organized and ruthlessly violent may not have many members operating in Oklahoma, but its tentacles reach far enough into the state to cause concern for local law enforcement.

Mara Salvatrucha, more commonly known as “MS-13,” is more common on the coasts and in states that border Mexico, but because several interstate highways converge in Oklahoma, the gang remains high on the radar, Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said.

“This particular gang, they’re organized; they’re very syndicate-like; and although we might not have very many of them here, that doesn’t mean a whole lot – they’ve got the capability to have more come in if they need them,” Nelson said.


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