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PHOENIX – A six-day initiative in Arizona has netted 102 suspects with ties to 19 different street gangs — most of whom are in the country illegally.
The gang crackdown, which took place in Phoenix and Yuma, was led by ICE and Homeland Security. ‘Operation Community Shield’ aims to attack and dismantle criminal street gangs across the country. ICE teamed up with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies for the bust, which wrapped up Saturday.
Of the 102 arrests, 29 are facing prosecution under for gang-related state charges, which 3 could be prosecuted for felony re-entry after deportation.
26 of those arrested are U.S. citizens — the remaining 76 are foreign nationals mainly from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The suspects who are not prosecuted on criminal charges will be deported.
Operation Community Shield began in 2005 and ever since, 18,000 gang members and associates have been arrested. (emphasis mine)
Transnational street gangs are often involved in human and drug smuggling, immigration violations, and other border crimes.
18,000 gang members since 2005, wow. Imagine how many more remain on the streets.