The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles unsealed Tuesday charges against 22 MS-13 gang members, “most of whom allegedly participated in a series of murders, including several slayings in which victims were hacked to death with machetes in the Angeles National Forest.” The report described gruesome details of a rival gang member killed by MS-13, in which “the victim was dismembered, and his body parts were thrown into a canyon after one of the defendants allegedly cut the heart out of the victim’s body.”

The indictments focus on Fulton clique, a violent wing of the gang that operates in the San Fernando Valley of L.A. and “has recently seen an influx of young immigrants from Central America.”

“The greatest tragedy in these cases is that these young victims likely left their homelands hopeful that in the United States they would find safety and prosperity,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “Instead, these victims had the misfortune of crossing paths with violent gang members who preyed on the vulnerabilities of their immigrant experience. My office will vigorously prosecute these defendants and continue to work with other agencies to enhance public safety in the communities where MS-13 and other brutal gangs operate.”

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