EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The manhunt for the escaped leader of the MS-13 gang continued in Honduras on Monday, as more details emerged about the brutal plan to spring him from custody.
Alexander “Porkys” Mendoza paid nearly $1 million so that 20 heavily armed men would storm a courthouse where he was scheduled for a hearing last Thursday, La Prensa newspaper reported.
The members of the Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 gang pulled off the rescue of their leader and took him to a safe house in the town of Progreso, where the hearing was held.
Authorities raided the home on Friday, finding several dozen weapons, vehicles used during the extraction and drugs, La Prensa reported. Mendoza, however, was gone.
Honduran police have since arrested six members of the MS-13 gang and seized additional drugs and guns, but have failed to find the fugitive, the newspaper reported.
The violent extraction of Mendoza from the courthouse claimed the lives of two Honduran soldiers and two police inspectors. A fifth man thought to be an MS-13 member was located within blocks of the courthouse shortly after the gunbattle, which was captured on courthouse security cameras.
The funeral for the slain public servants drew hundreds of mourners this weekend, Honduran news media images show.
According to analysts, MS-13 has evolved from a gang that originated on the streets of Los Angeles to a criminal organization that thrives on extortion, drug sales and contract killings in the Northern Triangle of Central America.