OUR VIEW: Gang bust a reminder of real danger

The news this week that the gang Mara Salvatrucha — or MS-13 — has been effectively put out of commission in metro Atlanta by a federal indictment that ties 26 members to murders, robberies and other crimes is a reminder of the underbelly that exists in Gwinnett County.

The good news from the announcement made Thursday in Atlanta is that the indictments cap a two-year investigation that has already led to 16 state-level indictments and the deportation of 19 members of MS-13. That the El Salvadorian street gang, known for its ruthlessness, has been eradicated from the county is good news indeed.

The bad news, however, is that the gang, which has had a presence in the county since 1998, is responsible for seven murders in Gwinnett and DeKalb, mostly in the Norcross area. That's in addition to other violent crimes committed by a group Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter called "the most violent gang we've dealt with."

Gwinnett's burgeoning gang problem has been addressed in this space before. And while Thursday's announcement deserves to be lauded, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of local law enforcement in combatting the thugs and gang-bangers drawn to a region that has become a hub for the drug trade in this country,

Gwinnett police have 25 officers assigned to gang and crime suppression units to combat gangs, a police spokesman said. And announcements like the one this week underscore their importance.

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