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ICE And DHS Target Gangs In Nationwide Operation
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security concluded an operation this week targeting gang activity that resulted in more than 1,300 arrests across the country. The crackdown led to 55 apprehensions in Arizona.
Homeland Security Investigations or HSIs target gang members involved in transnational criminal activity. As a result of the most recent nationwide operation, 48 U.S. citizens, seven foreign nationals, 16 gang members and seven gang associates were apprehended in Arizona.
Two of the gang members arrested are wanted in connection with homicides in the United States.
Louie Garcia is the Deputy Special Agent in Charge for HSI Phoenix.
Gangs are involved in a long list of criminal activity, but they are especially active in a few areas here in the Southwest, such as “Drug smuggling, weapons smuggling, sex trafficking, murder and racketeering,” Garcia said.
Homeland Security and ICE partnered with state and local officials for the operation.
Garia said international gangs can have a big impact on local communities.
One of the gang members arrested in Surprise is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist group with a significant presence in Arizona.