Sessions in Philadelphia: MS-13 street gang a 'priority' for law enforcement

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says taking down the brutal MS-13 street gang should be an aim for law enforcement.

Sessions on Monday designated the Central American gang as a "priority" for a federal task force that has traditionally pursued cartels and drug kingpins.

Sessions made the announcement during a speech to hundreds of police leaders at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia.

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The designation directs officials to pursue all possible charges during prosecutions, including racketeering, gun and tax law violations.

MS-13 has become a prime target of President Donald Trump's administration amid its broader crackdown on immigration. Sessions said MS-13 members "brutally rape, rob, extort and murder."

MS-13 members are suspected in several high-profile killings in the suburbs of New York City.