Immigration agents aid in arrests of accused gang members

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(Benner) "Imprison and deport and remove trans-national gang members as well as to suppress violence and prosecute criminal enterprises".

Of the people arrested on criminal charges, 21 face "murder-related" allegations, and seven were arrested on charges of rape and sexual assault.

In the course of about six weeks, Immigration and Customs Enforcement apprehended almost 1,400 people who allegedly fit at least one of the president's descriptions, the agency announced Thursday. The other 445 people arrested during the program are from 21 different countries.

Homan added that "efforts to dismantle gangs are much more effective in areas where partnership with local law enforcement is strongest".

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says its agents have helped arrest more than 1,300 accused gang members across the United States in the last six weeks.

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The Department of Homeland Security said the six-week operation was the largest gang round-up ever conducted by DHS' office of investigations to date. ICE said that group included five US citizens and three immigrants in the country legally. It primarily targeted violent gang members involved in human trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, racketeering and weapons and human smuggling.

In an operation in San Antonio, Texas, agents found cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, four guns, and confiscated $48,000 in cash, officials said. 95 arrested in 5-day Houston area ICE roundup almost 300 were arrested on administrative immigration violations. The remaining 283 claimed no gang affiliation but were arrested on criminal or administrative charges. "Because the gangs do have a specific organizational structure", said McElroy. Of the 1,378 total arrested, 1,095 were confirmed as gang members and affiliates, authorities say. A majority of the arrests were made in New York, Atlanta, Houston, and New Jersey.

Ten arrested crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, including nine as gang members. In Oklahoma, all 11 were criminal arrests.

During the national operation, HSI and its partners seized 238 firearms; narcotics including 790 ounces of cocaine, nearly 547 ounces of methamphetamine, 113 ounces of heroin, 1.59 ounces of fentanyl, and 8,019 ounces of marijuana; and $491,763 in U.S currency.