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'Disrupt and destroy MS-13': DOJ announces first-ever terrorism charges in nationwide gang crackdown


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The leader of MS-13 has been charged with terrorism amid a nationwide crackdown on the group, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The indictment, unsealed in Virginia against Melgar Diaz, marked the first time the Justice Department has brought terrorism charges against a member of MS-13. 

Attorney General William Barr described Diaz as "the person who would green-light assassinations" for the gang in the United States.

Prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty against Alexi Saenz, another MS-13 leader in Long Island, N.Y. charged in seven killings, including those of two high school students slain with a machete and a baseball bat.

"We believe the monsters who murder children should be put to death," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding that his administration would not rest before bringing every member of the gang to justice. 

The announcement came a day after grand juries in New York City and Nevada handed up new charges against nearly two dozen MS-13 members, ranging from drug dealing and kidnapping to murder and racketeering.:snip:

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