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Exclusive: Workers held up at gunpoint at MS-13 'destroyer house'

Workers held up at gunpoint at MS-13 'destroyer house.' (Image: Google Maps, Montgomery County, Md.)

A seemingly abandoned home that was slated for demolition turned into a chilling crime scene in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Two construction workers were held up at gunpoint when they discovered the home was what police call an MS-13 'destroyer house.'

The State of Maryland recently bought the two-story property to make way for the Purple Line light rail project. When the two construction workers entered the house to begin their work, they startled Jesus Ponce-Flores, an alleged MS-13 gang member, who pulled out a gun.

According to police, Ponce-Flores and at least three other MS-13 members had turned the abandoned home into a gang crash pad.

Inside the home, officers say they found graffiti on the walls, a shrine to "Santa Muerte" (the Saint of Death) with burning candles and a skeleton idol hanging from the ceiling.

There was also a built-in bar, clown and skull masks with painted blood and countless alcohol bottles and marijuana blunts littered across the floor.

At least one neighbor was unaware that anyone was living in the house.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, told ABC7's Kevin Lewis that he sees MS-13 chipping away at the local working-class immigrant community.

“It makes me scared a little bit," he said. "It makes me rethink about living her sometimes."

MS-13 is an El Salvadoran street gang that experts believe grew out of the U.S. prison system in the 1980s. In recent years it has been infamously linked to a number of high-profile and often gruesome slayings in Maryland, Virginia and New York.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has pledged to crack down on MS-13, which the Justice Department has called "one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today."

Federal officials claim to have arrested more than 200 alleged members of MS-13 since October.

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