President Donald Trump has long promised to crack down on gang violence in America — and now, his Justice Department is dropping the hammer.
Speaking alongside Attorney General Bill Barr and others in the Oval Office, Trump announced Wednesday that several key MS-13 leaders had been arrested and charged with federal crimes, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“We have the MS-13 leader on charges of terrorism — that’s a first,” Trump noted, according to the Review-Journal.
The president also clarified his administration’s feelings on capital punishment: “We believe the monsters who murder children should be put to death,” Trump said Wednesday, the Review-Journal reported.
Blood on their hands
According to Fox News, nearly two dozen MS-13 gang members have been arrested in recent weeks as part of operations by the Justice Department’s Joint Task Force Vulcan.
Perhaps the most prominent arrest was the one specifically named by Trump; according to Fox, the Justice Department has taken into custody Melgar Diaz, whom Barr reportedly described as “the person who would green-light assassinations” by MS-13 in the U.S.
Diaz is facing terrorism charges in Virginia, according to Fox.
Also behind bars is Alexi Saenz, who, according to Fox, is believed to have been behind seven brutal killings, “including those of two high school students slain with a machete and a baseball bat.”
“We will not rest”
In a statement last week, Barr said the task force that arrested Diaz, Saenz, and others has “significantly degraded MS-13 capabilities.”
“While there is still work to be done, the Department of Justice remains committed to protecting Americans threatened by MS-13, and we will not rest until we have successfully defeated this transnational criminal organization,” Barr said, according to Fox. The Trump administration again touted the arrests in a tweet on Sunday.
President @realDonaldTrump announced the arrest of key figures in the vicious criminal organization MS-13 this week.
For the first time, “we have the MS-13 leader on charges of terrorism,” the President said. https://t.co/mFQGcXHOrV
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 20, 2020
While Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may be sympathetic to criminals like these, it’s clear the Trump administration has a zero-tolerance policy for gang violence. Finally, someone in Washington is focused on keeping Americans safe.