HOUSTON (AP) — Law enforcement officials say they’ve arrested nearly a dozen alleged members of a notoriously violent gang that’s connected to multiple slayings in the Houston area.

Local, state and federal agencies gathered with prosecutors Tuesday to announce the arrests connected to the transnational MS-13 street gang.

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Officials say the gang was involved in about five Houston deaths since June, including the killing a confidential informant with a machete. Authorities say most of the victims were members or associates of the gang, though one victim had no connection.

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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says authorities are ramping up efforts to arrest members of MS-13, which he says is the most violent gang in the area. Acevedo says there are about 20,000 total gang members in Houston, with approximately 400 in MS-13.

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