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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Maryland Announces New Nationwide FBI Tipline To Gather Information About Crimes Committed By The MS-13 Gang

Spanish-language Public Service Announcement to Publicize the Tipline Also Unveiled “We Need the Community’s Help to Fight Back”

Greenbelt, Maryland – Maryland is the first District to announce the new nationwide FBI tipline, 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), to gather information about the criminal activities of the MS-13 gang.  To help publicize the tipline and encourage people who may have information about the gang to call, a Spanish-language public service announcement was also debuted today. 

The tipline was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Office; Chief Edward G. Hargis of the Frederick Police Department; Chief Edward Jackson of the Annapolis Police Department; Chief Timothy J. Altomare of the Anne Arundel County Police Department; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief Amal Awad of the City of Hyattsville Police Department.

“This new tipline adds to our tool box in the fight against MS-13,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “MS-13 is terrorizing and preying upon entire communities.  We want to help end the fear and violence, but we need the community’s help to fight back.  Please, if you have information, call 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713).  Federal, state, and local law enforcement are working together to find and bring to justice MS-13 members who commit heinous crimes—and your information will help us to do that.  Your identity will be protected.”

“MS-13 uses violence to strike fear in our communities and they count on that fear resulting in silence,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone. “We must not allow fear and silence to be weapons MS-13 is allowed to use.  Please call the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713). Use your voice to tell them, no more.”

The FBI tipline allows individuals to provide information about MS-13 activities to a central location and the FBI will then disseminate the information to the appropriate law enforcement authorities for investigation.  The Spanish-language public service announcement (PSA) features a mother who was extorted by MS-13 and whose child was murdered by the gang.  In the PSA the victim encourages others to call the FBI so the FBI can help them.  The PSA is available for download at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtCqeAA_LlY and has captions enabled for both English and Spanish.  In addition, the video will be live in the videos section on the FBI’s website.

MS-13 is a national and international gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence both to maintain membership and discipline within the gang, as well as against rival gang members.  To protect the gang and to enhance its reputation, MS-13 members and associates are expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who show disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence.  MS-13 has mottos consistent with its rules, beliefs, expectations and reputation including “mata, viola, controla,” which translates as, “kill, rape, control,” and “ver, oir y callar,” which means, “see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.”

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Updated December 6, 2019