Texas authorities announced Thursday that they have arrested a confirmed MS-13 gang member with a lengthy rap sheet, whose name is on an international watchlist, after he attempted to escape deeper into the U.S. in a grain hauler on a train.
Delmar Sanchez Zuniga is a previously deported Honduran national with a lengthy rap sheet, authorities said. Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement on Thursday that he is a confirmed MS-13 gang member on the Transnational Criminal Organization Watchlist.
The agency said that Texas Rangers, using drone technology, observed a number of illegal immigrants attempting to board a train in Maverick County on June 3. They then guided the DPS Operations Group Train Interdiction Team to locate them, at which point they nabbed Zuniga.
According to DPS, Zuniga has convictions for drug possession and felony weapons possession in Omaha, Nebraska. He was deported to Honduras in 2003. Texas identified him with U.S. Border Patrol.
MS-13 is one of the most famous and brutal international gangs. Also called Mara Salvatrucha, it was set up in Los Angeles by Central American immigrants and has expanded across the continent – particularly in Northern Triangle countries.
It is known for horrific and gruesome crimes, and its motto is said to be “Mata, viola, controla” – which means “kill, rape, control.” There have so far been 111 apprehensions by Border Patrol of MS-13 gang members this year, compared to 312 in FY 2022 and 113 in FY21.
DPS has surged resources to the southern border under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, launched in 2021 in response to the ongoing migrant crisis.
The news of the arrest of the MS-13 member comes after a migrant smuggler led Texas authorities on a high-speed chase on Tuesday along the border, hitting speed of more than 100 mph.
The driver eventually hit a highway sign before crashing the vehicle and fleeing. Officers eventually tracked him down along with two illegal immigrants.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.