Several suspected MS-13 gang members arrested during raids in north Columbus
Early morning raids by FBI agents led to the arrest of accused MS-13 gang members Tuesday.
The Department of Justice says 10 members of the "Columbus Clique" of MS-13 were indicted, 5 more are facing charges. They say MS-13 has been in Columbus, Ohio for a while, and today's arrests were the first steps to dismantle the group in Columbus and bring the members to justice.
Authorities say of those 15, 13 are in custody, they are currently searching for the other two, who are on the run.
The FBI says the gang was involved in extorting local residents with violence and threats of violence, and they are urging any possible victims to call the FBI at 614-849-1755. You can call anonymously. They are especially reaching out to the Hispanic community, saying they have bilingual staff members who can speak to them when they call.
"MS-13's calling card is violence, extreme violence," said US Attorney Ben Glasser. "Concern to make sure victims are protected...and safe in coming forward, those are paramount considerations for us."
Several law enforcement vehicles could be seen at the scene, including crime scene units from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Ohio Attorney General's office said they are assisting with gathering and processing evidence.
Glasser said the investigation that lead to the arrests has been going for more than a year and a half, and the indictment charges go back as early as 2010. He says MS-13 may have been in the Columbus area before 2010.
It happened at By Way Mobile Home Park, off Innis Road in North Columbus. Department of Justice officials say there were also raids and arrests in Indiana in connection with the Columbus raids.
Authorities say the vast majority of the suspects are undocumented immigrants, but a couple are legal residents.
Authorities also say Tuesday's arrests are not connected to the warning from the Pike County Sheriff about MS-13 earlier this summer, but that they are aware of that warning.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, and Columbus Police assisted with the investigations.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.