Lock and load! Four alleged MS-13 gang members arrested in Houston | TOP STORIES | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas Four alleged MS-13 gang members arrested in Houston HOUSTON – Houston police, the FBI and ICE arrested four dangerous men along the busy feeder road of the Katy Freeway in front of Memorial City Mall. “The men are from Mara-Salvatrucha. This is a Central American gang that has come into the U.S. It is taking over different cities,” said an undercover special agent from Houston’s FBI. Mara Salvatrucha is also known as MS-13, and they are one of the most violent gangs in the United States. In Houston, authorities say there are up to 15 groups of MS-13 members committing violent crimes. But thanks to two brave women, one of these cells is no longer in business. The women worked at a beauty salon near Fondren and Westheimer. They say that last month, MS-13 gang members held them up. Then they took their money, stole their property, and raped one of the victims. But before the gunmen left, the gang members told the women their salon would have to pay $100 a week for protection. According to the undercover FBI agent, this is what worries law enforcement the most. “Once they come over, they get a hold of some of these businesses and they start receiving additional income. Then, the groups start getting stronger and they bring more people into the group,” said the special agent. A week later, the MS-13 group returned to the salon to collect their extortion money, but the women locked the doors. Police say the gang members retaliated by driving by and opening fire. “It took us about two weeks to crack group. We kept on them,” said the special agent. In all, seven people, including a 15-year-old boy, have been taken into custody. During the arrest, the task force found guns, ammunition, a machete and written plans to conduct another robbery. Law enforcement agencies say these MS-13 cells often target businesses that may not always be entirely on the what they call the "up-and-up," such as game rooms. “There could be countless crimes that have not been reported because they are afraid to go to the police,” said the special agent. The task force says if the two women at the salon hadn't spoken up, the MS-13 cell would be planning its next attack.