Last year, I testified before the United States Senate about ways in which the United States could improve collaboration with El Salvador to combat MS-13. I am excited to report that much of what I testified about is beginning to come to fruition.
I recently returned from an official trip to El Salvador with the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies to further develop long term, sustainable strategies to eradicate MS-13 from our communities. In Suffolk County, we have been on the forefront in this effort, which has led to hundreds of arrests of gang members, the solving of murders and a dramatic reduction in violent crime. As your District Attorney, I have made eradicating MS-13 a top priority and will continue to develop innovative strategies to get the job done. We recently launched a new Gang Unit in the DA's Office and brought our fight to a whole new level. You can read about one of our many gang prosecutions here.
While in El Salvador, I met with Salvadorian law enforcement officials, including the Attorney General and the Director of the National Police, as well as my partners in the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, DEA and State Department. We shared intelligence and developed new strategies, which will make it even more difficult for the gang to operate in the United States. I also secured additional assets to combat the gang here in Suffolk County. Specifically, we have been selected as a pilot location to house an MS-13 gang expert from El Salvador to provide analytical support to law enforcement here on the ground. Based on our investigations to date, we know that there is a close connection between gang members in the U.S. and El Salvador, and this latest initiative will enable us to further enhance our investigations and prosecutions here in Suffolk County.
Our message to MS-13 is simple: there is no place to hide, we will arrest you, and we will prosecute you. As your District Attorney, I will do everything in my power to make Suffolk County as safe as possible.
Timothy D. Sini