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Officials Continue to Track Reports of MS-13 in Buffalo

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Federal law enforcement officials Thursday said they don't have any confirmed intelligence that a violent national gang could be setting up shop in Buffalo.

The Buffalo police have warned motorists of possible initiation rites by the so-called MS-13 street gang. The gang, a Central American gang based primarily in Washington D.C. and Virginia, engages in extremely violent crimes, such as murder, rape and extortion.

Laurie Bennett is the special agent in charge for the FBI in Buffalo. Bennett said right now leads point to, if anything, possible individual or copycat gang activity.

"In Western New York the intelligence has not supported a big MS gang, organized gang, here in the Western New York area, but we'll continue to pursue it," said Bennett.

Still, she said even unorganized or copycat gang crime is reason for concern.

Motorists are being told not to pull over if they are rear-ended by another vehicle as it could be part of a gang initiation ritual. Instead, if possible police say they should call 911 from a cell phone.