Ruthless Central American gang seeks Toronto toehold, police say
Jun 05, 2008 04:30 AM
A Central American street gang is the target of a massive GTA-wide police operation aimed at liquidating the notoriously violent group from this city's streets, a police source said yesterday.
In a series of pre-dawn raids, officers busted into 22 homes, mainly in the city's west end, and arrested 21 suspected members of Mara Salvatrucha-13 and others with ties to the organization.
Described as one of the most savage gangs in the world, MS-13 is considered to be in the embryonic stage of developing in Canada, the source said, and the ongoing sweeps are an attempt to prevent the gang from securing a local foothold and growing dangerous roots.
Police said yesterday members are implicated in the distribution of illicit drugs and firearms and a police source said they have also been linked to several violent robberies and break and enters.
Officers would not give any indication of the local MS-13 chapter's size or strength, but gang expert Michael Chettleburgh estimated membership at roughly 25 people. He said he doesn't believe local gang members have set their sights on growing in Toronto, but have come to live here because of family, or because they're escaping charges in another country.
"Canada is perceived as a safe destination for them," said Chettleburgh, a crime prevention consultant and author. "But it's not like they are a Tim Hortons, trying to start a new Toronto franchise."
If this gang ever gets established in Toronto it's because we let it by mass immigration. We now have Asian gangs, Tamil street gangs, Indo-Canadian gangs, as if domestic Biker gangs were not enough. The streets of Canadian cities are becoming less safe because of this country's inept immigration and refugee system. If you don't believe me then just read the newspapers on a daily basis.