MS-13 gang members have threatened attacks on New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers right in very homes, putting the agency on alert.
The NYPD released a bulletin this week alerting officers that “members of MS-13 are looking to ‘hit’ NYPD police officers, specifically in the Brentwood/Central Islip area as well as possibly Patchogue” on Long Island.
“These members are conducting reconnaissance of MOS [members of service] private residences,” the bulletin added.
The department has warned its officers to remain on alert while on or off duty and take precautions to ensure their safety. Officers have also been advised to change up their daily routines in order to make them less predictable, and thus, less vulnerable to attacks.
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The bulletin added that the gang’s attacks are an effort to “gain street credibility.”
Although the threats against officers from MS-13 are unsubstantiated so far, the department is treating the situation with dire concern.
“Whenever a law enforcement officer is being threatened, especially by an organization like MS-13 which we already know is uber violent and has killed numerous people throughout the country if not throughout the world, this has to be taken serious,” former FBI agent Manny Gomez told CBS.
“They are going above and beyond what any other gang does, and the scary part is that we already know that they legitimately carry out their threats and they are extremely violent,” Gomez added.
MS-13 has already been active in Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, leaving a trail of violent crimes that include murder, drugs, child prostitution, and racketeering, CBS New York noted.
Last month, three MS-13 members were arrested for their involvement in the murder of a rival gang member. Abel Mosso, an alleged member of the 18th Street Gang which rivals MS-13, was shot multiple times in the face in broad daylight on a subway platform, CBS New York reported.
In December, NYPD was investigating the body of a man fatally shot numerous times in the head in a scene that had “all the hallmarks of an MS-13 style slaying,” ABC News reported. Five suspects were arrested, all of who had connections to the gang.
MS-13’s presence in Long Island has spanned for several years.
An April 2017 report from the Associated Press revealed that 200 MS-13 suspects were rounded up by authorities in just a six-month period. Gang members were also responsible for the deaths of 11 people all in the Brentwood and Central Islip areas of Long Island where they remain prevalent today.