Federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rounded up more than 1,100 gang members, including hundreds associated with transnational gangs, in a national operation targeting gangs and transnational criminal organizations.
The five-week nationwide operation, named Project Shadowfire, led to the arrest of 1,133 gang members. This number included more than 900 members of transnational gangs and other individuals associated with transnational criminal activity, according to a statement from ICE obtained by Breitbart Texas.
“This operation is the latest example of ICE’s ongoing efforts, begun more than a decade ago under Operation Community Shield, to target violent gang members and their associates, to eradicate the violence they inflict upon our communities and to stop the cash flow to transnational organized crime groups operating overseas,” ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña said in the statement.
Project Shadowfire is an annual program, now in its eleventh year of operation. The project has accomplished the arrest of more than 40,000 gang members and seized over 8,000 firearms.
The 1,139 arrests included 239 foreign national from Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. 915 of the arrestees were gang members or associates of gangs. 1,001 were charged with criminal offenses and 132 were arrested on administrative immigration charges.
Many of those arrested were members of MS-13, Sureños, Norteños, Bloods and several prison-based gangs. While the operation took place all across the nation, the greatest activity was in locations like the Los Angeles, San Juan, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, and El Paso areas.
In addition to the arrests, during this operation agents seized 150 firearms, 20 kilograms of narcotics and $70,000 in cash.