U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) concluded a targeted nationwide gang operation which was the largest ever conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The six-week nationwide crackdown on gangs took place from March 26 through May 6 and resulted in 1,378 arrests of which 1,095 were confirmed gang members and affiliates, according to a statement from ICE.
Of the 1,378 total arrests, 445 were foreign nationals from 21 countries spread across five continents around the world. Of those arrested, “137 affiliated with the Bloods, 118 with the Sureños, 104 with MS-13, and 104 with the Crips. The remaining 283 claimed no gang affiliation but were arrested on either criminal or administrative charges,” ICE noted.
The operation specifically targeted gang members that were suspected to be involved in drug trafficking, sex trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling, racketeering, and murder.
The operation led to the seizure of 238 firearms, 546.96 ounces of methamphetamine, 790.15 ounces of cocaine, 113.42 ounces of heroin, 1.59 ounces of fentanyl, 8,019.46 ounces of marijuana, and $491,763.
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan noted that gangs threaten not only large cities but also small and rural communities.
“Gangs threaten the safety of our communities, not just in major metropolitan areas but in our suburbs and rural areas, too,” Homan said. “Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere. Our efforts to dismantle gangs are much more effective in areas where partnership with local law enforcement is strongest.”
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.