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13 May 2017, 01:07 | Cynthia Sparks
A six-week crackdown on gangs across the breadth of the United States has resulted in nearly 1,400 arrests, according to a statement released by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday. ICE said it worked with San Antonio police to arrest Gilbert Vasquez III, an alleged associate of the Tango Orejon Gang, on April 5.
"Majority of the arrests come from narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking", Vicente said. 95 arrested in 5-day Houston area ICE roundup almost 300 were arrested on administrative immigration violations.
Of those arrested 933 were US citizens and 445 were foreign nationals, authorities said.
ICE somewhat routinely conducts such large gang surge operations.
"While Cook County's practice of denying ICE access to its facilities and refusing to honor any ICE detainer is a serious threat to public safety, this agency nevertheless is acting in good faith to return a fugitive to justice", said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher. "Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere". Vicente said local law enforcement plays a big role in the round-ups.
Federal officials released the names of only four of the people arrested in the operation, which the agency dubbed Project New Dawn.
Of those arrested, more than 1,000 people were taken in on federal and/ or state criminal charges, according to Homeland Security Investigations.
ICE's anti-gang initiative has led to more than 47,000 gang-related arrests since it began in 2005, officials said.
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. The remaining 283 claimed no gang affiliation but were arrested on either criminal or administrative charges.
-Nine members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang.
Three had received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Eight of the MS-13 members caught crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, according to the release.
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