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Saturday, 28 June 2008

Accused 26 alleged members of the Hispanic gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, of crimes ranging from murder to drug activity.

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Twenty-six alleged members of a street gang said to be among the deadliest in the United States faced arrest after indictments were returned against them.
Prosecutors said the indictments were returned by a grand jury in Charlotte, N.C., and accuse 26 alleged members of the Hispanic gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, of crimes ranging from murder to drug activity.
Law enforcement officials say MS-13 is based in Charlotte and has up to 50,000 members worldwide, about 10,000 of whom are believed to be active in at least 38 U.S. states and is so big that 2004 the FBI created a task force that focuses specifically on it.An official report on the gang said members smuggle illicit drugs, primarily powder cocaine and marijuana, into the United States and distribute the drugs throughout the country, with some gang members also involved in alien smuggling, assault, drive-by shooting, homicide, identification theft, prostitution operations, robbery and weapons trafficking.The 26 were charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act and authorities began executing the arrest warrants Tuesday, CNN reported. Four North Carolina slayings were included in the indictments.

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