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Friday, 26 June 2009

Pablo Ortiz is a member of the MS-13 national gang, and are probing suspect Marvin Aguilar-Lopez to see if he's connected as well.

Albuquerque Police confirmed that suspect Pablo Ortiz is a member of the national gang, and are probing suspect Marvin Aguilar-Lopez to see if he's connected as well.Up to 10,000 people across the country belong to the MS-13 Gang, according to the FBI. The FBI labels the group as exceedingly violent."We have not had a confirmation yet, but if he hangs out with him, if he associates with him, we can probably assume he has some kind of affiliation with them as well," Albuquerque Police Department Officer Nadine Hamby said.When police arrested Ortiz, they noticed the digits "503" were shaved into the back of his scalp. 503 is the country code for El Salvador.The FBI claims that gang members identify themselves through 503 or gang tattoos on their chest.The gang was formed in Los Angeles by refugees who fled El Salvador, after a brutal Civil War in the early 1980s.Membership is believed to be growing in Southern California and urban areas in the northeastern U.S.
A former Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy with knowledge of gang activity said MS-13 might target Albuquerque."MS-13 specializes in drug transportation, human trafficking, and smuggling in the Mexican-Rio Grande Corridor," Robb Hamic said.
However, sources with the local FBI and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office claim that MS-13 is not organized in the metropolitan area, and has very few members.
Police said they don't consider this weekend's shooting gang related."They committed a heinous crime. And the fact that they killed someone while they were committing that crime, I think that's more important than what gang affiliation they have," Hamby said.Police said they believe that Aguilar-Lopez and Ortiz were involved in several other armed robberies in the past five weeks.The FBI said MS-13 members recruit Hispanic men by using the internet to glorify gang lifestyles.
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