MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities have been cracking down on a notorious Long Island gang.
At least 40 men — alleged members of the MS-13 gang — were arrested on a range of charges including conspiracy and assault.READ MORE: Heavy Rain Has Queens Residents Worried About Ida Repeat: 'I'm Scared To Death'
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the indictments are the latest in a recent law enforcement effort to take down the gang.
Ironically wearing a t-shirt touting ‘Strictly Good Vibes Only’ suspect Frank Moronta said he was shocked to be among dozens arrested on Thursday morning for alleged involvement with the MS-13 gang.
“It’s news to me,” he said.
Moronta said he’s not in a gang. Family members who showed up to support him in Nassau County Court said he’s wrongly accused.READ MORE: New Jersey Under State Of Emergency As Nor'easter Threatens Flood Prone Areas
“He’s innocent, that’s all,” one relative said.
Nassau County prosecutors said they’ve indicted more than 40 people for their alleged involvement with the notorious MS-13 gang.
While many were arrested on Thursday, a large number of the accused are already in jail for previous felony charges.
The round-up comes about seven weeks after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Long Island, vowing to rid the area of the violent transnational gang.
MS-13 is allegedly responsible for at least 17 murders in Suffolk County since January of 2016, including the murders of 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas and 15-year-old Nisa Mickens whose bodies were found not far from their Brentwood school in September.MORE NEWS: Storm Watch: Timeline Of Rare October Nor'easter Soaking Tri-State Area