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An alleged multistate human trafficking ring forcing immigrant women into prostitution. The mysterious killing of a former police officer in South Florida. Attacks against police officers in New York. The arrest of a drug dealer in Chicago.

Local and federal officials say these apparently unrelated crimes have a common denominator: Tren de Aragua, a transnational criminal gang that originated in a Venezuela prison and has slowly made its way south and north in recent years. They say it’s now operating in the United States. The scale of its operations is unknown, but crimes attributed to alleged members of the gang have worried elected officials and some Republican members of Congress have asked the Biden administration “to formally designate the vicious Tren de Aragua as a Transnational Criminal Organization.”

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