Sept. 10, 2005 In the suburbs of Washington, D.C., police in once-quiet neighborhoods are waging war against the Central American gang Mara Salvatrucha 13, or MS-13. Roughly translated, the gang's name means "Salvadoran gang, fear us."
MS-13's more prone to violence anything from robberies to shootings to cuttings, machete cuttings, people being beaten with baseball bats, pipes," said Sgt. George Norris of the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland. "A lot of rapes," he added, "especially of younger females, Latino females."
Norris estimates there are now 1,000 MS-13 gang members in his county alone. With an estimated 10,000 members in 33 states, the FBI says the gang is now spreading from the nation's cities into the suburbs.
Residents in neatly manicured northern Virginia are scared. Brenda Paz, a 17-year-old pregnant girl there, was nearly beheaded in 2003 after the gang learned she was helping police in a murder investigation.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon