56 members of MS-13 gang are charged in Massachusetts

Federal authorities say they have charged 56 members of the MS-13 gang in and around Boston.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz held a news conference Friday morning to discuss the charges.

Law enforcement officials say they had taken 37 of them into custody as of late Friday morning.

The suspects face racketeering, drug trafficking and gun charges.

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The gang is notoriously violent and known for using machetes to kill victims.

According to court documents, in 2012, MS-13 became the first and remains the only street gang to be designated by the U.S. government as a "transnational criminal organization."  It is an international gang with over 6,000 members in the U.S. and over 30,000 members internationally, mainly in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

Authorities say the gang has recruited members from Boston, Chelsea and Everett schools. Several suspects have killed at least five people in the Boston area since 2014, according to authorities. 

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