FBI’s Most Wanted Found at the Border, Arrested on Terrorism Charges

FBI’s Most Wanted Found at the Border, Arrested on Terrorism Charges

During the Super Tuesday coverage earlier this month, an MSNBC panel led by Rachel Maddow mocked West Virginia voters for citing border security as their top concern in the 2024 election.

Former Biden White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki accused Trump of riling up his voters.

“Because otherwise, he can’t run against the ‘other’ and brown people, people who don’t look like him, like his supporters … coming across the border and scaring people and killing people or whatever he’s threatening out there,” she said, according to Fox News.

But reality tells a different story.

For example, a high-ranking leader of the notorious transnational criminal gang MS-13 was finally apprehended this month in San Diego, after evading law enforcement for four years, according to CNN.

Freddy Ivan Jandres-Parada had been charged by federal prosecutors in New York in 2020 with terrorism-related offenses for his role on the gang’s governing “board of directors,” initially known as the Twelve Apostles of the Devil, and later renamed the Ranfla Nacional, according to Los Angeles Times.

According to court documents, Jandres-Parada and other Ranfla Nacional members controlled all activities of the violent MS-13 gang, including approving murders, kidnappings, extortion, drug trafficking and other criminal operations across multiple countries.

Prosecutors allege the gang operated “military-style training camps; obtained weapons, handguns, rifles, grenades, improvised explosive devices (‘IEDs’) and rocket launchers,” and “directed acts of violence and murder in El Salvador, the United States and elsewhere,” according to the indictment, CNN reported.

Jandres-Parada is also among a dozen top MS-13 leaders from the governing Ranfla Nacional body facing charges of conspiring to supply terrorists with material support and resources, conspiring to carry out acts of cross-border terrorism, conspiring to fund terrorism, and conspiring to engage in narco-terrorism, according to the indictment, CNN reported.

In 1994, Jandres-Parada was convicted of drug trafficking in Los Angeles County and sentenced to three years in state prison. Soon after his release from that sentence, he was arrested again for possession of a firearm and sentenced to another three years in prison, according to the LA Times.

After serving that firearms sentence, Jandres-Parada was deported back to his native El Salvador, where MS-13 had grown into a powerful gang with political influence.

At some point, Jandres-Parada returned to the United States illegally. He was apprehended again for illegal reentry and served time in prison before being deported back to El Salvador a second time.

While back in El Salvador after this second deportation, authorities say Jandres-Parada continued running MS-13’s transnational criminal operations from there.

On March 7, Jandres-Parada was arrested by federal authorities at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the California-Mexico border on narco-terrorism charges related to his leadership role in MS-13.

The MS-13 gang, which started in the 1980s in Los Angeles, has expanded into a major international criminal enterprise with tens of thousands of members across the United States, El Salvador, Honduras and other Central American nations. Known for extreme violence, including severed limbs, brutal killings, rapes and assaults, MS-13 has been designated a transnational criminal threat by authorities.

The indictment states that MS-13 members initially broke into local neighborhood cliques, but numerous members were deported to Central American nations, where the gang’s membership swelled into the tens of thousands. Many deportees eventually returned to the United States illegally and rejoined MS-13 cliques that had proliferated across dozens of states like New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, California and Nevada, CNN reported.

Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray, who is by no means a Trump ally, told a Senate panel that dangerous individuals have entered the United States illegally through the southern border.

Speaking at the annual “Worldwide Threats” congressional hearings where intelligence agency heads testify, Wray stated, “We have had dangerous individuals entering the United States from a variety of sources. We are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border,” according to ABC News.

Clearly, Wray wasn’t referring to the high-profile cases of sex predators and murderers that have dominated recent news cycles, horrific as those crimes may be.

As an international gang with up to tens of thousands of members, many of whom have re-entered the U.S. illegally after being deported, MS-13 almost definitely represents some, but not all, of the “wide array of very dangerous threats” emanating from the southern border that Wray described to Congress.

The case of Jandres-Parada illustrates two core aspects of the border security challenge — the potential terrorism risk from new criminal migrant smuggling networks attempting to infiltrate the porous border, and the reconstituting of transnational gang forces inside the U.S. through repeated illegal entries.

The reason people are voting for border security above all other issues is because of this “wide array of threats” that Psaki, Maddow and the rest of the MSNBC panel are apparently unable to see from their ivory towers.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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