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10 alleged Maryland gang members various criminal charges

Ten alleged gang members were recently arrested in what the police are calling a "violent racketeering" scheme. Maryland police say that this scheme has resulted in several murders and other violent crimes. The 10 all face varying criminal charges for their alleged involvement in the suspected crimes.

The indictments against the individuals claim that, since at least 2009 up until last month, these 10 persons were all members of the MS-13 gang. MS-13 is a gang consisting of descendents or immigrants of El Salvador, and it is reportedly one of the largest street gangs in America, with a significant branch existing in Maryland. The gang has a reputation for being violent.

This gang allegedly planned, attempted and committed murders as well as other violent crimes in Prince George and Montgomery counties. Some of the other crimes that the gang members are accused of include extortion, robberies and assaults. The ages of those arrested range from 19 to 25, but their exact charges were not publicly provided.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of these arrests is that it is unclear why each of these individuals was charged. Neither the specific criminal charges nor why the police suspect the individuals to be a part of this gang were disclosed. In order for the Maryland prosecutors to obtain a conviction against any of these individuals, they will likely need to prove that they are each members of MS-13 and that they actually committed the crimes of which they are accused, which could prove difficult. If the prosecution does not provide sufficient evidence in court, then some or all of the charges against these accused persons could be dropped or reduced.

Source: wjla.com, Authorities arrest group of alleged MS-13 gang members in Maryland, Jennifer van der Kleut, March 13, 2014

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