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MS-13 Gang Leader on FBI’s Most Wanted List Arrested at Border in San Diego

MS-13 Gang Leader on FBI’s Most Wanted List Arrested at Border in San Diego

Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada, a leader of the international MS-13 gang, was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego on March 7, 2024. (Courtesy of FBI)

Brad Jones

Brad Jones

3/25/2024

Updated: 3/26/2024

A high-ranking leader of the international Mara Salvatrucha gang, better known as MS-13, was arrested on narco-terrorism charges at the U.S.–Mexico border in San Diego earlier this month.
Federal authorities arrested Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada, 48, also known as “Lucky De Park View“ at the San Ysidro Port of Entry March 7.
He has been charged for his alleged role in ordering numerous acts of violence against civilians, law enforcement, and rival gang members and in transnational drug distribution and extortion schemes.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Ysidro, Calif., on Feb. 2, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Ysidro, Calif., on Feb. 2, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The suspect is one of the senior leaders of MS-13’s Ranfla Nacional leadership council, formerly known as the Twelve Apostles of the Devil, which controls thousands of MS-13 members worldwide, according to the FBI.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a federal warrant for his arrest in late December 2020, charging him with conspiracy to provide and conceal support and resources to terrorists, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiracy to finance terrorism, and narco-terrorism conspiracy.
An indictment unsealed a month later reveals the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) strategy to target the upper echelon of MS-13 leadership—the Ranfla Nacional—in El Salvador to dismantle its command and ability to direct contingents in the United States.
Such contingents are known to be in various Los Angeles neighborhoods known by an area or street including Hollywood, Park View, Normandie, Francis, Fulton, and Coronado, according to the 31-page indictment.

Trump’s Crackdown

A 2020 DOJ report on the department’s efforts to combat MS-13 estimated the gang had 10,000 members across the U.S. and tens of thousands more worldwide and is “responsible for violent crimes in the United States, including murders, extortion, arms and drug trafficking, assaults, rapes, human trafficking, robberies, and kidnappings.”
Less than a month after he was sworn into office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing “the whole of government” to develop and execute a comprehensive and decisive approach to dismantle transnational criminal organizations, including MS-13, to “restore safety for the American people,” the DOJ report states.
“For decades, MS-13 has exploited weaknesses in U.S. immigration enforcement policies to move its members in and out of the United States and to recruit new members who have arrived in the United States illegally,” the report reads.
It has infiltrated U.S. cities and suburbs and established contingents in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, according to the DOJ report.
The San Ysidro border entryway near San Diego, Calif., on May 31, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The San Ysidro border entryway near San Diego, Calif., on May 31, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

MS-13 members are mostly Salvadoran nationals or first-generation Salvadoran Americans, as well as Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other Central and South American immigrants, according to the FBI.
A 2008 report from the bureau deemed MS-13 a high-level threat in some parts of the United States and a medium threat nationwide, saying it often targets middle and high school students for recruitment.
In May 2018, President Trump took flak from political adversaries who accused him of calling illegal immigrants “animals,” while criticizing California’s sanctuary state policy at an immigration roundtable in Washington.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in—and we’re stopping a lot of them,” President Trump said. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”
He made the remark in response to a question about gangs from a sheriff, and he later said he was referring to MS-13.
At a National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., a month later, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former House speaker, chastised him over the remark.
“This is the first time in recent history where we have had a president who does not respect the dignity and worth of every person coming into our country, the recognition that immigration is the constant reinvigoration of America,” Ms. Pelosi said. “America has always been a nation of immigrants, enriched and blessed by each wave of newcomers to our shores. We truly believe, as people of faith, that we are all God’s children.”
Former President Donald Trump attends a border security briefing to discuss further plans in securing the southern border wall in Weslaco, Texas, on June 30, 2021. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump attends a border security briefing to discuss further plans in securing the southern border wall in Weslaco, Texas, on June 30, 2021. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Ms. Pelosi also received public backlash for saying there is “a spark of divinity” in every immigrant that demands “respect for every person—not animals, not inhuman, but children of God.”
“Immigrants keep faith in America’s promise of opportunity and we must keep faith with them by respecting ... the dignity and worth of every person. We must reject language that calls them animals,” she said.
Meanwhile, CBS News reported on March 24 that U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens has called the southern border a “national security threat,” citing 140,000 known “gotaways” who were detected crossing into the United States illegally but evaded apprehension in the past five months.
Mr. Owens told CBS that Border Patrol is “closing in” on 1 million apprehensions of migrants in between ports of entry along the U.S.–Mexico border in fiscal 2024, which began in October.
President Trump, who is again running for president, continues to stress at his rallies the danger of MS-13 gangs, including their brutal machete attacks and other violent tactics.
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Brad Jones

Brad Jones

Author

Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.

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