AG Sessions: Chasing MS-13 gang is government priority

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions says chasing the MS-13 gang is a priority for the federal government.

Sessions vows to use tactics similar to the takedown of notorious gangster Al Capone to get MS-13 gang members off the streets and behind bars. He plans to give the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force everything it needs to dismantle the gang.

"I have authorized them to use every lawful tool to investigate MS-13," he said. "Just like we took Al Capone off the streets with our tax laws, we will use whatever laws we have to get MS-13 off the streets."

The nation's top prosecutor's battle plan against MS-13 comes after at least 22 killings linked to the gang on Long Island over the past year. They include the killings of Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens in Brentwood and slayings of four young men in Central Islip.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini says Sessions' plan will be helpful in the fight against MS-13, especially the use of the federal racketeering statute, better known as RICO.

"RICO carries stiff penalties," Sini said. "What that does is it provides enormous incentives for criminals to provide info to law enforcement and it keeps criminals off our streets for significant periods of time, oftentimes their entire life."

Sessions also announced that the Department of Justice will soon award $100 million to state and local law enforcement to hire more officers as part of the fight against gangs.

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