Wednesday, June 8


This writer has been reporting on the illegal immigration of MS-13 gang members -- a violent street gang composed largely of illegal aliens and now operating in 33 states -- who have been breeching the U.S.-Mexico border between Brownsville and Laredo, Texas, and funneling their way principally through southern Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

Brian Chasnoff of the "San Antonia Express-News" (registration required) reported yesterday that two Salvadoran gang members were apprehended on a ranch near Dilley, Texas and that may well underscore that the notorious MS-13 gang is using South Texas as a principal route into the country, endangering American citizens along the way.

As Mr. Chasnoff reports:

The capture of two Salvadoran gang suspects on a ranch near Dilley has heightened fears that members of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang are moving in increasing numbers through South Texas.

Capping a three-day manhunt that began amid the ransacking of five ranch houses last week, federal and local authorities apprehended Rafael Torres Platero, 35, and Miguel Amauri Becerra Reyes, 27, on Friday.

The two men left a trail of vandalism and theft through La Salle and Frio counties, slicing through fences and stealing weapons and vehicles, area law enforcement officials allege.

Inside one of the homes, in a chilling move, graffiti contained messages for future gang members passing through the area, "warning them to be careful of snakes and helicopters," La Salle County Sheriff Robbie Thomas said.

"There's no doubt we're seeing more of them coming through this area," said Norman Townsend, head of the FBI office in Laredo. "Each week, we capture about one or two" throughout Texas.

Mr. Chasnoff continues:

Authorities have seen an increased presence of Mara Salvatrucha, also know as MS-13, in South Texas since the reputed leader of the gang, Ebner Anibal Rivera Paz, was arrested in Falfurrias in late February. He was wanted by Honduran officials in connection with a shooting attack on a bus full of Christmas shoppers that killed 28 people.

Notoriously violent, MS-13 formed in the 1980s by undocumented immigrants in the Los Angeles area who then were deported to their homelands.

There are up to 10,000 members in the United States, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, an arm of the U.S. Justice Department.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have separate task forces addressing the gang's activities in the United States, Townsend said.

Authorities, using FBI intelligence reports, identified the two men captured Friday as members of the MS-13 gang, Thomas said.

The pair were believed to be making their way to Houston, where a large MS-13 cell is located, Thomas said.

That should cause Houstonians pause. This writer has been continually updating the story of 18-month old toddler Aiden Naquin's death here in Houston at the hands of an alleged MS-13 shooter, Miguel Angel Castro.

The reporter concludes:

The two suspects are charged with five counts of burglary and are being held at La Salle County Jail on bonds of $50,000 each, Thomas said.

An FBI investigation is under way to determine whether to charge the men with immigration violations, Townsend said.

A La Salle County ranch appraiser whose 200-acre spread was infiltrated said the burglaries have amplified fears among local ranchers that MS-13 could become a pervasive presence in the area.

"We're scared," said the appraiser, who also requested his name be withheld. "We're worried for our families. We're worried for our neighbors."

Meanwhile, the man who owns a big spread in Crawford, Texas, was once this state's governor, and now occupies the White House, continues to turn a deaf ear to a clear majority of Americans who have been calling for heightened border security and much-needed immigration reform.

We're being invaded and the invaders are not all down-on-their-luck stoop laborers seeking agricultural fields to work in and crops to harvest. MS-13 has flourished in this country because elected officials in Washington don't seem to care what's happening to good, decent, law-abiding citizens -- citizens fed up with the fact that 10 million - 20 million illegal aliens are afoot in this land of ours.

It's a shame the President of the United States didn't buy ranch property along the Texas' border. Ah, but he knew better, because the then occupant of the White House -- Bill Clinton -- wasn't doing a damn thing either about our porous borders!