PLAINFIELD – Nearly a dozen reputed members of the MS13 street gang were arrested or charged during a number of raids by law enforcement over the last several days, announced Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. The alleged gang members lived and operated in Plainfield and are charged with a variety of crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder.
The arrests began over the holiday weekend and continued through early this morning, Romankow said. This was a joint operation between the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Plainfield Police Department, UCERT, the FBI and Immigration Customs Enforcement.
“Plainfield has faced violence from gangs for far too long, and it not only impacts the citizens of the city, but everyone in the county and surrounding areas,” said Romankow. “These arrests deliver a significant blow to the MS13 operations but we will not slow our pursuit of others involved in gangs and violence.”
Members of MS13 have been arrested in recent months and charged in at least three homicides that occurred in the city of Plainfield. Several other MS13 members are suspected in at least two other homicides, said Romankow.
Of those charged over the last several days, one remains at large, said Romankow. Kelvin Mejia, 18, with a last known address in Plainfield, is wanted for a variety of charges including conspiracy to commit murder.
Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 cash for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of Mejia. Anyone with information can anonymously contact crime stoppers by calling 1-908-654-TIPS or by visiting www.uctip.org.
Those arrested over the last several days face a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder. These charges stem from a police investigation that revealed that MS13 members were working towards killing other members inside the gang as well as other individuals, said Romankow
The MS13 members are also charged with gang criminality, a statute that was recently enacted in order to combat the rising ride of criminal activity by gangs, said Romankow. The charge alleged that the members worked together to commit crimes on behalf of the gang.
Two juveniles were arrested as part of the raids and Romankow said the Prosecutor’s Office would move to have them waived to adult court.
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