LOS ANGELES (AP) – Members and associates of the MS-13 gang committed seven murders including several in which victims were hacked to death with machetes in a Southern California forest, according to a federal indictment released on Tuesday.
The indictment by the United States (US) Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles charges 22 people linked to a subset of the gang known as the Fulton clique.
They are suspected of nearly 200 crimes in several states over nine years, the indictment said.
In one case a member of a rival gang who had been believed to have defaced MS-13 graffiti was targetted, authorities said.
The indictment alleges that on March 6, 2017, the rival was abducted, choked and driven to a remote area of the Angeles National Forest where six people dismembered him with a machete and threw the body parts into a canyon after one cut the heart out of the body.
Six killings were committed by gang members hoping to gain entry into or advance within the clique’s ranks, according to the indictment.
“We have now taken off the streets nearly two dozen people associated with the most violent arm of MS-13 in Los Angeles,” said Nick Hanna, the US attorney in Los Angeles.