MENDOTA, Calif. - A day after police in Las Vegas arrested 5 suspected MS-13 gang members allegedly tied to 10 murders, we wanted to find out just how big of a problem that gang is, here in Fresno county.
"They have been connected to some violent crime and drug activity that's taken place in the city," said Mendota Police Chief Gregg Andreotti.
Chief Andreotti said the gang has been around for a few years and has spread throughout the city. Police said the gang has been tied to a variety of crimes.
"There are theft related crimes, narcotics trafficking sales, there are some violent crimes assaults," said Chief Andreotti.
The chief said MS-13 gang members often wear a certain kind of clothing, have tattoos and vandalize.
"Sometimes they will have conversations and will admit affiliation," said Chief Andreotti.
President Trump often talks about the MS-13 gang in his speeches while pressuring sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
Chief Andreotti said his department has MS-13 under control.
"Knowing who the players are in the bad areas of town and keeping track of individuals through subject checks and contacts and of course crime investigations," he said.
The chief said he hopes the latest bust in Las Vegas will help other communities like his.
"I hope that those investigations, the information that comes from those investigations, will be able to benefit law enforcement elsewhere, here in California and be able to put more pressure on the gang members," said Chief Andreotti.
Chief Andreotti didn't have the exact number of MS-13 gang members living in the city. He said they have not been responsible for a murder in the city of Mendota in quite some time.