Police: Undocumented MS-13 gang member arrested after car crash


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The arrest of an undocumented teen accused of kidnapping and beating a Nashville high school student, doesn’t come as a surprise by some officials.

Franklin Pineda-Caceres was arrested Sunday after a crash. Police say in January, Pineda-Caceres and two other males grabbed the victim at Glencliff High School, forced him in a car and beat him at an apartment in South Nashville when he wouldn’t join the gang.

Gang investigators tell News 2 this is a typical tactic of the MS-13 gang.

“Realistically we are seeing more of a gang violent trend,” Jim Quick President of Tennessee Gang Investigators told News 2.

MS-13 gangs are at the top of the list when it comes to violence.

FBI Agent Brent Bixenman says typically MS-13 gang members engage in drug sales, extortion and gruesome violence.

“They maintain order through force and violence. In order to become a full-fledged member recruits are often required to attack and kill rival gang members and members of law enforcement,” explained Bixenman.

The presence of MS-13 members in Nashville seems to be on the rise, according to LT Stephen Duncan who oversees Metro’s Gang Unit.

“We started to see an increase of their presence within the past year or so and I know we’ve made an arrest on MS-13 members within the last 12 months,” he said.

The latest, Franklin Pineda-Caceres. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he re-entered the U.S illegally two months ago after being deported in 2014.

The news doesn’t surprise the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who released a statement saying, “Davidson County has a non-cooperation policy with ICE. As such, that local policy serves as an open invitation to illegal aliens who commit criminal offenses that Davidson County is a safe haven in Tennessee for persons seeking to evade federal authorities. It should come as no surprise that violent criminal aliens would choose to come to Davidson County in an attempt to reduce their likelihood of being encountered by ICE.”

We are seeing the apprehension of MS-13 gang members on the rise across the nation, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection or CBP.

For the current fiscal year running from October 2018-August 31, 2019 of the 933 apprehensions by CBP of persons with gang affiliations, nearly half were members of MS-13.

The increase in arrests in 2018 and 2019 are nearly double that of previous years.

It’s a trend state agent say they are seeing as well.

“I think we’ve had more arrest and also more prosecutions in court. We do have enhancements for being a gang member in the state of Tennessee so if they do get popped for crime and we can prove they are a gang member that is even more time in jail,” explained Quick

Metro’s Gang Unit says they rely on the community as their greatest resource in cracking down on gang activity. They urge anyone with insight to contact Crime Stoppers.

An investigation took place in cooperation with the SROs and there was no evidence of a kidnapping at the school.

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