hsi

HOUSTON, Texas — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston special agents, along with various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, arrested 23 gang members and gang associates during a 26-day surge operation targeting MS-13 gang members in the Houston area, the agency announced.

Of those arrested, HSI says 13 were confirmed MS-13 gang members or associates.

Additionally, three of the MS-13 gang members were arrested on murder charges. They were identified as 19-year-old Francisco Flores-Salazar, 26-year-old Mario Guevara-Flores, and 21-year-old Francisco Alberto Ancheta-Aquino, all Salvadoran nationals.

“Transnational criminal gangs like MS-13 pose an immediate threat to the safety and security of our local communities,” stated Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Mario Trevino. “Our ongoing efforts with our law enforcement partners targeting gang activity helps make our communities safer for everyone to live and work.”

"As gang activity has increased in Houston in recent years, HSI Houston and the Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Center have ramped up their law enforcement efforts to confront the problem head-on," read a statement from the agency. "In fiscal year 2018, HSI arrested 959 MS-13 gang members and associates nationwide."

The following law enforcement agencies assisted with HSI Houston’s 26-day anti-gang operation: Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division; Houston Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Houston; HSI El Salvador’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit; Harris County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office; U.S. Marshals Service Houston; Houston Independent School District Police Department; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Houston.

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Reporting on breaking news in the DFW metroplex since 2012 and later expanded coverage statewide. Mathew can be reached by email or social media by using the links below.