FBI New York
FBI New York Press Office
(212) 384-2100
January 25, 2018

Combating MS-13 Gang Violence Takes FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, Law Enforcement Partners to El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, ES—Members of the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, Nassau County Police Department, Suffolk County Police Department, New York State Police, New York Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York traveled to El Salvador for meetings with representatives of the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC).

The trip and meetings, which took place January 16-19, 2018, are part of a larger, comprehensive approach to investigating and prosecuting dangerous members of the MS-13 gang operating in communities on Long Island, and in other parts of the New York City metro area. Local MS-13 members communicate and often take orders from MS-13 members in El Salvador. Attendees used the unique opportunity to engage in bilateral discussions with entities of the El Salvadorian government, exploring ways to further develop, share, and exploit intelligence collected by law enforcement in Central America.

“MS-13 and its deadly violence has to be stopped. Using our ability to reach beyond the borders of Nassau and Suffolk counties and into the operation center of MS-13 is invaluable to the ongoing investigations on Long Island. We will use every resource we can to continue the fight," said Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney of the FBI New York Field Office.

Nassau Commissioner of Police Patrick Ryder said, "The ability to cross train and work cohesively over borders toward ending the violence and control of MS-13 is a benefit to all. Interagency cooperation is a must for investigation to prosper, which will result in an increase of arrests and a decrease in crime."

“The Suffolk County Police Department thanks The FBI for coordinating last week’s trip to El Salvador. During the trip, Suffolk County Police command staff members were able to get a better understanding of the transnational connectivity of the violent street gang MS-13. In addition, we were able to establish communication with gang enforcement officers in place in El Salvador as well as lay the groundwork for future cooperative enforcement operations. The Suffolk County Police Department remains committed to combatting and preventing gang violence in an effort to keep the citizens of Suffolk County safe. To this end we stand firm with our law enforcement partners including the FBI, Nassau County Police, New York City Police, New York State Police, National Civil Police of El Salvador, as well as state and federal prosecutors," said Acting Commissioner John Barry, Suffolk County Police Department

“Our collaboration and partnership with the FBI, local law enforcement, and now with the El Salvador National Police in El Salvador underlines our shared commitment to defeat MS-13. We will use every tool at our disposal to bring an end to the violence MS-13 has brought to our communities on Long Island," said Superintendent George P. Beach II, of the New York State Police.

“Partnership with our law enforcement counterparts in El Salvador will allow us to continue to expand our efforts in combating violent street gangs," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "As these international gangs continue their efforts to expand into the United States, it is important that law enforcement be united in our focus to disrupt criminal behavior and violence wherever we find it."

“We and the people of El Salvador are inseparable allies in the fight to crush the MS-13. In battling the gang in El Salvador, we are saving lives on Long Island and across the U.S.,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York.

The FBI Long Island Gang Task Force works with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to also provide and share intelligence and information on local investigations with the more than 160 FBI Safe Streets Task Force throughout the U.S.