ICE arrests more than 1000 people in targeted gang operation

U.S. Marshal Service and Homeland Security Investigations Gang Unit members participate in an operation targeting gang members and associates.

Three individuals arrested during the operation previously benefited from the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the release stated.

Word of the overall anti-gang operation came in an announcement in Washington, D.C., by the Department of Homeland Security, which said it was part of an enforcement effort launched in 2005.

"Of the 1,378 total arrested", the statement read, "1,098 were arrested on federal and/or state criminal charges, including 21 individuals arrested on murder related charges and seven for rape and sexual assault charges". 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.

Authorities said almost 1,100 people were arrested on federal or state charges, 21 of whom face murder charges and seven face rape and sexual assault charges.

The operation was highly successful, leading to 1,378 total arrests, including 445 non-citizen foreign nationals. "This is one of our highest priorities and will remain so".

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State, local and federal law enforcement partners participated in the operation led by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations that started March 26. Officials said the greatest activity of enforcement actions took place in Houston, New York, Atlanta and Newark areas.

According to ICE, 280 arrests were soley immigration-related. ICE said that group included five USA citizens and three immigrants in the country legally.

Acting Director for ICE Thomas Homan in a Thursday announcement emphasized the role of local law enforcement in fighting gang activity and harped on the threat gangs posed to communities.

Nationwide, the biggest gangs targeted were the Bloods, Sureños, the Crips and MS-13, an worldwide gang with thousands of members in El Salvador, its command center.

ICE also noted that 10 of the arrests were of people who crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, eight of whom were confirmed to belong to the MS-13 gang, ICE said.

  • Sidney Guerrero