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‘Lacking courage’: US Attorney says Virginia leaders ignore MS-13 problem because of political correctness

Chuck Ross on June 19, 2020

A federal prosecutor in Virginia excoriated local leaders on Friday at a sentencing hearing for two members of MS-13, saying that officials have ignored the problem posed by the Central American gang due to political correctness.

“Yes, Northern Virginia has a gang problem,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said at a sentencing hearing for Juan Francisco Rivera-Pineda and Jefferson Noe Amaya, two members of an MS-13 clique called Pinos Locos Salvatrucha.

The pair were convicted of shooting and stabbing a 40-year-old victim in a Henrico, Virginia, park on Dec. 30, 2018.

The incident allegedly stemmed from a dispute over who controlled an area where the gang sold drugs.

Terwilliger, who said he has prosecuted MS-13 cases for a decade, accused local leaders of ignoring the gang’s activities, putting the Hispanic community at risk.

“By burying their heads in the sand and lacking courage to address a problem because they mistakenly deem it to be politically incorrect,” Terwilliger said, “various community leaders in Northern Virginia simply refuse to acknowledge the gang problem to the detriment of the same Hispanic community they claim to be defending.”

“No one suffers more at the hands of MS-13 than other individuals of Central American birth or ancestry,” he continued.

Both gang members pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. They were sentenced to a combined total of 28 years in prison.

MS-13, which originated in El Salvador, has spread to most major U.S. cities over the past decade. Virginia’s Washington, D.C., suburbs have seen a wave of high-profile MS-13 cases in recent years.

Terwilliger said that MS-13 gang members routinely extort minority-owned businesses in Hispanic communities, sexually traffic first-generation Americans, and “brutally assault and even murder Hispanic boys and girls who they believe have disrespected the gang.”

“We cannot prosecute MS-13 out of existence. The community must play a significant role to protect our youth from joining the gang in the first place. I believe that together we can eliminate the gang problem in Northern Virginia.”

Terwilliger, who has served in his role since May 2018, did not identify the local community leaders he said have ignored the scourge of MS-13.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Albert Kunz June 20, 2020

    Since they can’t be prosecuted out of existence, perhaps a vigilante committee could come up with a better solution.
    Since they’re all tattoo’d to show gang affiliation, declare them terrorists, and execute ANYONE with a MS-13 tattoo !
    Any time a suspected member is arrested, a simple strip search will reveal the tat if it exists, and a single bullet to the back of the head will save taxpayers piles of money.
    Not exactly in line with our usual standards of “innocent until proven guilty” HOWEVER,the tattoo will be considered a confession of membership, so it’s a no-brainer, death penalty to follow ! INSTANTLY. No appeal, no “extenuating circumstance”, no trial necessary.
    Just justice, as THEY preform it. Dis the gang & die. Be a member & get caught, and die. No problem !

  2. Avatar
    russell d remmert June 20, 2020

    MS 13 should be destroyed one and all

  3. Avatar
    Phillip Gleason June 20, 2020

    One cannot expect the hypocritical, bigoted, leftist, gang supporting, hate group supporting, baby killing supporting governor of virginia or any of his administration to do anything about the gang problem! He supports all of these hoodlums. If he did not support the evil people, he would not allow American history to be destroyed and crack down hard on these gangs, hoodlums and hate groups!
    He has no spine!
    Medical doctor my big red behind!

  4. Avatar
    Kate Jones June 20, 2020

    Legalize all drugs, sell them like cigarettes and alcohol. That will put gangs out of business (remember Al Capone and the rise of Mafia from Prohibition?). No need to have massacres… just remove the profit motive.

  5. Avatar
    Bart June 20, 2020

    It should have been at least life with no parole.

  6. Avatar
    Bart June 20, 2020

    Yes they should.

  7. Avatar
    Larry W Gaines June 21, 2020

    As long as Northam is in office there will be no honest justice

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