Jeffrey Wood, Supervisory Special Agent at the FBI and 2018 Sammies finalist, discusses his role in the international undercover operation that brought several MS-13 gang leaders to justice.
MS-13 is the only street gang recognized as a transnational criminal organization by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The gang is active in the Boston region, but a three-year undercover operation resulted in the arrest of several gang members and a major blow to the leadership in Boston and El Salvador. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeffrey Wood led the operation, and is nominated for a Samuel J. Heyman Medal for his work. Wood told Government Matters that it was one of the most challenging cases he’s worked on at the FBI. “We had a great working relationship with our local and state partners in this investigation. We also teamed up with Homeland Security investigations. And we just utilized our cooperating witness and other witnesses throughout the case to infiltrate the gang and develop evidence of their illegal activities. That included murder, attempted murder, drug and firearm trafficking and more,” said Wood. “We were able to use that evidence to indict 61 MS-13 leaders throughout the country and, in fact, El Salvador.”