SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal authorities in San Francisco announced charges against 17 alleged members and associates of the international MS-13 gang for a broad range of crimes, including racketeering and attempted murder, carried out in the heart of the city’s Latino district.
The individuals were taken into federal custody Thursday and appeared before a federal judge Friday, said U.S. Attorney David Anderson. Their alleged crimes range in punishment from 10 years to life in prison, he said.
Anderson, who launched an initiative last year to clean up open-air drug dealing in the city’s notoriously rundown Tenderloin neighborhood, said he was appalled by the violence carried out by gang members in family-friendly parts of the city, including Dolores Park in the Mission district.
“San Francisco is suffering from gang violence and gang claims on our public spaces,” he said. “Our parks and playgrounds and other public spaces do not belong to transnational criminal organizations. Our public spaces belong to all of us.”
The city’s politically liberal leaders have clashed with the federal government over issues related to homelessness, clean water and immigration.