dglobalnews.com ICE arrests 1378 over six weeks in targeting gangs
Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

ICE arrests 1378 over six weeks in targeting gangs

ICE arrests 1378 over six weeks in targeting gangs

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led a six-week long nationwide gang operation that ended this weekend with 1,378 arrests.

A Fugitive Operations Team assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta working as part of a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force arrested an illegally present Mexican national May 4 who is presently wanted for aggravated sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois.

The six-week operation ran from March 26 to May 6, and nabbed 1,378 suspected gang members, including more than 100 members of the MS-13 gang, the crime organization specifically targeted by the Department of Justice.

Three of the gangsters arrested had previously been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Crips and Bloods, traditionally black, non-immigrant street gangs, combined for 241 busts, while Hispanic gangs like MS-13 and Surenos had 222 of their members scooped up in the haul.

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said that violent street gangs are the "biggest threat facing our communities".

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Of those apprehended, 1,098 were arrested on federal or state criminal charges, and the remaining 280 were arrested on non-criminal immigration violations. Law enforcement also confirmed gang membership with other criteria such as tattoos or if an individual admitted belonging to a gang.

933 US citizens and 445 foreign nationals from 21 countries were arrested in the gang surge, according to ICE.

McElroy says Homeland Security Investigations teamed up with the Texas Anti-Gang Center as well as other state and local partners for the operation. The remaining 283 claimed no affiliation with any gangs but were arrested for gang-related activities or had tattoos that identified them as being a gang member. Eight of those were alleged members of MS-13, Benner said. Of those, the majority were US citizens who are allegedly involved in transnational gang activity.

During the operation, HSI partnered with other law enforcement agencies to seize more than 200 firearms, narcotics like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana and $491,763 in US currency.

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