Their calling card is stomach-turning violence, and they proudly wear their affiliation in the form of jailhouse tattoos as they terrorize cities and suburbs alike.
MS-13, the El Salvadoran gang that took root in America's prisons, has spilled onto the streets of America, committing murders and rapes that leave seasoned cops stunned and disgusted.
"They kidnap. They extort. They rape and they rob," President Trump said last week on New York's Long Island, where MS-13 has terrorized once peaceful communities. "They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs, they slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They're animals."
Trump has turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions loose on America's most-feared gang, and shutting down the murderous El Salvadoran organization is a top priority. With an estimated 10,000 members in the U.S., on the streets and behind bars, the job won't be easy.
Here are the most-wanted members of America’s most-feared gang:
Walter Yovany Gomez: The only member of MS-13 to currently be on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, Yovany Gomez, who goes by the nickname “Cholo,” is wanted for his alleged involvement in the murder of a fellow gang member in Plainfield, N.J. Born in Honduras, Yovany Gomez immigrated to the U.S. illegally before becoming involved in gang life. In May 2011, it is purported that Yovany Gomez and a fellow MS-13 members took their victim out for a night of partying before beating him over the head, stabbing him in the back 17 times and slitting his throat. Their victim was killed for socializing with a rival gang.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Yovany Gomez in 2013 and he was last seen in Maryland after being driven there from New Jersey. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Robert Morales: A member of the Coronado clique of MS-13 who goes by the nickname “Casper,” Morales is wanted by the FBI for the alleged murder of two men and the attempted slaying of a woman in Los Angeles. Authorities purport that Morales shot and killed a man waiting at a bus stop in July 2000 and then, in November of the same year, shot and killed a fellow MS-13 member before opening fire on the man’s girlfriend. Morales, who was known to work as a handyman when not committing violent crimes, has a lengthy rap sheet that includes several assaults, burglary, narcotics transportation and domestic violence.
Carlos Flores Garcia and Victor Alfonso Argueta: Both men are wanted for a brutal double murder behind a Baltimore school in January 2006. While at a club in south Baltimore, the two MS-13 members thought they saw two other men flash a rival gang sign. A later investigation found that neither of the two victims were affiliated with any gang.
When the two victims arrived at the local school, Garcia and Argueta attacked them – stabbing them multiple times with knives. A district court in Baltimore has charged Garcia with two counts of first-degree murder and Argueta with accessory to commit murder after the fact. Both have been charged with unlawful flight to avoid persecution, given their time on the lam and the fact that both men were born in El Salvador.
Douglas Alexander Herrera-Hernandez: The Texas Department of Public Safety added 20-year-old Herrera-Hernandez to its 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list last month after the MS-13 member known as “Terror” was connected to a June 2016 murder and another murder this July in the Houston area. Herrera-Hernandez, who is from El Salvador, has been residing in the U.S. illegally and is believed to be accompanied by a 19-year-old woman and her infant son.
Carlos Alberto Gonzalez-Barahona: While the Salvadoran national has been deported multiple times, the 26-year-old MS-13 member quickly rose to become one of Texas’ most wanted men in a span of three short days this June. On June 18, he allegedly shot and killed his estranged girlfriend inside an apartment in northwest Houston. After fleeing the scene of the crime, Gonzalez-Barahona is suspected of kidnapping the driver of a pickup truck at gunpoint in rural Brazoria County, just south of Houston, before eventually abandoning the truck in neighboring Wharton County. He has been charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping.