The Gangs of Nantucket

The Gangs Of Nantucket: Fear And Politics

Nov 16, 2017

With police in dress uniforms as a backdrop, President Trump in July delivered a blood and guts speech in Brentwood, New York, that left little doubt about how he felt about MS-13, a Central American gang that has become one of the administration’s prime examples of what Trump calls out-of-control immigration. There on Long Island, gang members have been arrested for murder and other crimes.

The Gangs Of Nantucket: The Partnership

Nov 15, 2017
Phillip Martin/WGBH News

On the grounds of the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson took me on a tour of the immigration detention center built on his watch. “This building, it's got two wings that are basically sort of open-dorm settings and with two rec yards on the back of each one,” he explained. 

Phillip Martin/WGBH News

Henry Lemus Calderon was, by his own admission, not a choir boy, even though he sang in one. He attended services at Faro de Luz church in Nantucket where the Rev. Rigoberto Lemus presides. Lemus — a common Salvadoran name on Nantucket and no relation to Henry — said Calderon spent a lot of time behind church doors.

The Gangs of Nantucket: The Arrival

Nov 13, 2017
Phillip Martin/WGBH News

Mara Salvatrucha, best known as MS-13, is a transnational gang based in El Salvador. It has about 10,000 members in the United States. In recent years, immigration officials have arrested and deported dozens of MS-13 and rival 18th Street gang members from Massachusetts to El Salvador. Some arrests were made in Revere, East Boston, Lawrence and in an unsuspecting location for gang activity in this state: Nantucket Island.