The federal indictment charging 22 people linked to the violent street gang MS-13 includes what U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna described as medieval-style murders. On Eyewitness Newsmakers, Hanna, the chief federal prosecutor, detailed the case.
"This is an extremely violent strain of MS-13," Hanna said. "Very young, very violent, and they committed these murders in an extremely heinous way, including using machetes. In one case, dismembering one of their victims and cutting out the victim's heart before they disposed of the body parts."
Most of the 22 are younger than 24 and belong to a North Hollywood based subset of MS-13 known as the Fulton clique.
The U.S. attorney is on the front lines in the battle against illegal opioid use. Opioids account for the majority of the 70,-00 overdose deaths in this country. Hanna says his office has a new initiative to get to the source.
"Our overdose death initiative in which we have a special team, specially trained that goes out when there's an opioid overdose death; tries to identify the dealer." Hanna said. "Under federal criminal law, if you supply drugs that result in a death, it's a 20-year mandatory minimum."
L.A.'s chief federal prosecutor also looks out for consumers, especially the elderly. Many have probably gotten one of those phony IRS calls or a scam email. The U.S. attorney general is going after these scams and part of the task force will be in L.A., with Hanna's office.
"Much of the elder fraud we see is this computer scam or phone scams, much of it coming from overseas in which the elderly are specifically targeted. It's a multi-million dollar business. Los Angeles, my office is going to be one of the strike force locations," Hanna said.