Updated: FBI arrests alleged MS-13 gang member in Pittsfield


PITTSFIELD — City police have helped arrest a fugitive and alleged member of the MS-13 gang, wanted by the FBI.

According to the FBI's Boston division, Efrain Vasquez-Yanez, 34, who had a local address of 226 Bradford St., was taken into custody about 8:25 a.m. Thursday.

City police worked with the state police's Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force to arrest Vasquez-Yanez at his home without incident.

"The Pittsfield Police Department is proud of the strong working relationship that we have with our state and federal counterparts," said Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn Friday.

"This apprehension is a great example of how public safety is enhanced when multi-agency cooperation removes violent offenders from our streets," said Wynn.

Vasquez-Yanez has been charged with RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

State police had information that he had connections to the Pittsfield area, according to the FBI.

On Jan. 26, Vasquez-Yanez was indicted in U.S. District Court in Boston along with 55 other members and close associates of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).

According to the FBI, MS-13 began forming in Los Angeles during the late 1980s by Salvadorian nationals and first-generation Salvadoran-Americans.

The FBI said the group also includes Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans and other South and Central American immigrants.

There was up to a $20,000 reward issued last week for information leading to Vasquez-Yanez's arrest, but the FBI said none of the money will need to be paid.

The FBI said no further information will be released at this time, "due to the ongoing federal prosecution."


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