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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    More than 600 snagged in ICE roundup

    More than 600 snagged in ICE roundup

    By Jason Buch
    Updated 12:06 p.m., Thursday, April 26, 2012

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced agents have rounded up 637 gang members, almost half of them foreign nationals, in a nationwide sweep.

    Project Nefarious netted suspects in 150 cities, including gang members in South Texas, according a news release.

    They include Richard Paul Gonzales, a 40-year-old U.S. citizen and member of the Mexican Mafia in Bexar County wanted on an indecent exposure charge. They also include a 29-year-old U.S. citizen and member of the Hermanos Pistoleros in Laredo and a 30-year-old U.S. citizen and member of the Valluco gang in Starr County.

    “The goal of Project Nefarious was to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and remove gang members and associates affiliated with human smuggling and trafficking organizations,” said James Dinkins, ICE executive associate director. “By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities.”

    jbuch@express-news.net

    More than 600 snagged in ICE roundup - San Antonio Express-News
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    15 Atlanta area gang members arrested amid national sweep

    By Jeremy Redmon
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Fifteen gang members from throughout the Atlanta area were among more than 600 people arrested this month as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on gangs involved in human smuggling and trafficking in 150 cities and in Honduras.

    Police from Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park and Cobb County assisted in the operation, called “Project Nefarious,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A variety of other federal law enforcement agencies also participated in the effort.

    ICE declined to identify the Atlanta area suspects but said they were in the country illegally and were arrested on state and federal charges, including forgery, possession of marijuana and cocaine, trafficking in methamphetamine and auto theft. They were part of the Surenos 13, a Mexican gang that is prevalent throughout the nation, according to ICE.

    In all, 637 gang people and their associates from 168 transnational street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs were arrested between April 9 and Saturday, according to ICE. Of those arrested, 479 were charged with criminal offenses; 210 had violent criminal histories; 10 were wanted for murder; and 290 are foreign nationals.

    Police also seized 52 firearms, 5,462 pounds of marijuana, 6 pounds of cocaine, $201,437 in U.S currency and 14 vehicles, according to ICE. Those arrested came from 33 countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

    “By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities,” James Dinkins, an executive associate director of homeland security investigations for ICE, said in a prepared statement.

    15 Atlanta area gang members arrested amid national sweep *| ajc.com
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Thursday April 26th, 2012, 10:19am

    ICE Claims To Target Gangs In Chicago Area Raid

    U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement arrested 29 people in the Chicago area, during a three-day period that started April 9. The sweep was part of the nationwide "Project Nefarious" and assists in accomplishing ICE's overall effort to target undocumented immigrants suspected to be criminals. An ICE agent tells WBEZ that the project was targeting "transnational gangs."

    However, of the 29 people apprehended, only three were arrested, including one U.S. Citizen. The other 26 are scheduled for deportation proceedings. Overall deportations have increased under the Barack Obama administration.

    ICE Claims To Target Gangs In Chicago Area Raid | Progress Illinois
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    Feds Nab 28 NM Gang Members Linked To Trafficking

    NM Gangs Linked To Trafficking In Colorado, Arizona, Utah

    Posted by Wayne Harrison, Web Editor
    POSTED: 9:55 pm MDT April 25, 2012

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Federal agents have arrested 28 suspected gang members and associates in New Mexico as part of a national roundup of gang members linked to drug and human trafficking.

    Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announced Wednesday that members and associates affiliated with the South Side Locos and Brown Pride gangs in Albuquerque, southern New Mexico and the Four Corner's region were in federal custody. Authorities also seized drugs with a street value of close to $300,000.

    The roundup was part of a national operation known as "Project Nefarious" which nabbed more than 600 gang members with outstanding warrants across the country.

    Authorities believe the New Mexico gangs are linked to drug and human trafficking in Colorado, Arizona and Utah.

    Feds Nab 28 NM Gang Members Linked To Trafficking - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver
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    Press Release
    April 19, 2012
    For More Information
    Contact: Press Office
    (850)
    488-0420

    "PROJECT NEFARIOUS" Results in Four Arrests

    Haines City, Florida—Florida Department of Corrections
    Probation and Parole officers Tuesday (April 17, 2012) teamed with Homeland
    Security agents and local law enforcement as part of a national Homeland
    Security initiative designed to identify, target, arrest and prosecute gang
    members and associates affiliated with human smuggling / trafficking
    organizations (HSTO’s).

    Contact was made with 13 known gang members in the Haines City area in
    Central Florida, which resulted in four arrests.

    The goal of the initiative is to combat the national security and public
    safety threats posed by transnational street gangs conducting business on behalf
    of international HSTO’s throughout the United States.

    Participating agencies included: Homeland Security, Haines City Police
    Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Haines City Probation and Parole
    office

    Florida Department of Corrections Press Release

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    637 gang members and associates arrested during Project Nefarious

    I.C.E. News Release

    April 25, 2012
    Washington, DC

    637 gang members and associates arrested during Project Nefarious

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced today the arrests of 637 gang members and associates from 168 different gangs during Project Nefarious, an HSI-led operation executed in 150 U.S. cities and Honduras targeting transnational street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs involved with human smuggling and trafficking organizations (HSTOs).

    Project Nefarious began in February 2012 with threat assessments, intelligence gathering, information sharing and target identification, which resulted in enforcement operations from April 9 to April 21. Through Project Nefarious, HSI special agents worked side-by-side with 148 federal, state, local and international law enforcement partners to apprehend individuals from 28 gangs affiliated with HSTOs. More than 40 percent of those gang members or associates arrested during this operation were affiliated with gangs tied to HSTOs.

    "The goal of Project Nefarious was to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and remove gang members and associates affiliated with human smuggling and trafficking organizations," said HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins. "By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities."

    The impetus for Project Nefarious was the U.S. Department of Justice, National Gang Intelligence Center, National Gang Threat Assessment 2011 report, which identified gangs who are progressively becoming involved with human smuggling and trafficking. The report classified numerous gangs as exceedingly dangerous due to their involvement with cross-border criminal activity linked to human smuggling and trafficking.

    Transnational criminal street gangs have significant numbers of foreign-national members and are frequently involved in human smuggling and trafficking; narcotics smuggling and distribution; identity theft and benefit fraud; money laundering and bulk cash smuggling; weapons smuggling and arms trafficking; cyber crimes; export violations and other crimes with a nexus to the border.

    Of the 637 gang members or associates arrested;
    479 were charged with criminal offenses,
    158 were administrative arrests,
    210 had violent criminal histories,
    10 were wanted for murder, and
    290 were foreign nationals.

    In addition to the 637 arrests, 155 individuals were arrested for federal and state criminal violations, or administrative immigration violations. Of the 155, 117 were charged with criminal offenses, 58 had violent criminal histories, 38 were administrative arrests and 69 were foreign nationals. In addition to the arrests, during the operation special agents seized 52 firearms, 5,462.6 pounds of marijuana, 6.6 pounds of cocaine, $201,437 in U.S. currency and 14 vehicles.

    Arrests during Project Nefarious included:
    Carlos Alexander Melgar-Andrede, 22, an El Salvadoran national and associate of MS-13 was arrested in Los Angeles County on rape charges.
    Richard Paul Gonzales, 40, a U.S. citizen and member of the Mexikanemi, also known as the Mexican Mafia gang, was arrested in Bexar County, Texas, for indecent exposure to minors and adults. His criminal convictions include aggravated robbery, evading arrest, dangerous conduct and numerous narcotics-related offenses. Pursuant to this arrest, HSI San Antonio seized two pistols and two shotguns.
    Rodney Zaid Mejia, Pedro Melendez and Hector Villarreal, all 20-year-olds and Hector Abarca, 21, and Johnnie Sanchez, 31, all members or associates of MS-13, were arrested in Houston on federal charges of racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms violations.
    Ernesto Zaragoza Solis, 29, a U.S. citizen and associate of Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, was arrested in Laredo, Texas, for kidnapping and engaging in organized criminal activity. His criminal convictions include transporting of an undocumented alien for private financial gain.
    David Solorio, 29, and Ronald Lopez, 46, both associates of the Mexican Mafia, and Sheldon McMorries, 34, all U.S. citizens, were arrested in Los Angeles County for conspiracy and murder. McMorries is a member of the street gang Varrio Carson 13, and an alleged hit man for the Mexican Mafia. His criminal convictions include taking a vehicle without consent, attempted grand theft auto and assault with a deadly weapon.
    Jorge Luis Garcia, 30, a U.S. citizen and member of the Valluco gang was arrested in Starr County, Texas, for evading and resisting arrest and open state warrants for aggravated assault. He is also a registered sex offender and has criminal convictions for possession of marijuana and a controlled substance, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, theft, resisting arrest, evading arrest and burglary.

    Those arrested came from 33 countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Of the total number arrested, 720 were males and 72 were females.

    This enforcement operation is part of HSI's Operation Community Shield global anti-gang initiative, and is administered by HSI's National Gang Unit (NGU). Operation Community Shield partners with existing international, federal, state and local anti-gang efforts to identify violent street gangs, and develop intelligence on gang members and associates, criminal gang activities and international movements to arrest, prosecute, imprison and deport transnational gang members. NGU's mission is to leverage its anti-gang initiative "Operation Community Shield" to enhance U.S. public safety by developing strategic domestic and foreign law enforcement partnerships, and utilizing those partnerships along with unique legal authorities to target gangs, suppress their violence and prosecute their criminal enterprises.

    Since the inception of Operation Community Shield in 2005, HSI special agents working in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide have arrested more than 25,629 street gang members and associates. Almost 40 percent of those arrested had a violent criminal history. Of those arrested, 313 were gang leaders and 3,910 were MS-13 gang members or associates. Through this initiative nationally, HSI has seized 3,024 firearms. To date, of those arrested, 13,405 have been charged criminally, and 12,224 have been charged with immigration violations.

    Federal agencies involved in Project Nefarious included the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Prisons and U.S. attorneys' offices around the country.

    To report suspicious activity, call ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

    ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423 or complete our tip form.

    U.S. Dept of Homeland Security

    637 gang members and associates arrested during Project Nefarious
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    Published: April 26, 2012 Updated: 1:44 p.m.

    Immigration gang sweep results in hundreds of arrests

    By CINDY CARCAMO / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

    Three men from Orange County were among 637 suspected gang members and associates arrested for criminal and immigration violations during a multi-agency operation that spanned across the United States and Honduras, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Thursday.

    Project Nefarious launched February 2012, targeting transnational gangs involved with human smuggling and trafficking organizations. After months of gathering intelligence, the enforcement operations began April 9 and culminated on Saturday, ICE officials reported.


    Project Nefarious arrest numbers

    Of the 637 gang members or associates arrested:

    479 were charged with criminal offenses

    158 were administrative arrests

    210 had violent criminal histories

    10 were wanted on suspicion of murder

    290 were foreign nationals

    Source: Immigration and Customs Enforcement


    "The goal of Project Nefarious was to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and remove gang members and associates affiliated with human smuggling and trafficking organizations," ICE Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director James Dinkins said in a written statement. "By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence, these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities."

    Immigration officials arrested 132 suspected gang members and associates in the Los Angeles area, including the three Orange County men who are suspected of immigration violations.

    Raul Moreno-Perez, 32, was charged with kidnapping a 19-year-old girl from a bus stop in Orange and raping her in 2001. Officers arrested him earlier this month after he was linked to the crime through DNA, officials said. Moreno-Perez faces a deportation hearing.

    The other two men, who ICE declined to name, were arrested on suspicion of immigration violations in Buena Park, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice stated.

    The men are suspected gang members, according to Kice. One is a member of a Buena Park gang while another is affiliated with a Mexico-based gang. The men had prior criminal convictions and were identified and located based on leads and intelligence gathered as part of the operation, Kice stated.

    ICE officials won't release names of individuals detained for administrative violations due to privacy reasons.

    The motivation behind the operation was a federal government report on gangs, which identified gangs that are increasingly becoming involved with human smuggling and trafficking.

    Contact the writer: 714-796-7924 or ccarcamo@ocregister.comor

    Immigration gang sweep results in hundreds of arrests - News - The Orange County Register
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    40 arrested in Okla., Texas in national sweep

    Updated 03:39 p.m., Thursday, April 26, 2012

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. immigration officials say 40 people have been arrested in Oklahoma and Texas as part of a nationwide investigation into human trafficking that led to 637 arrests nationwide.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok in Dallas said Thursday that 25 were arrested in Dallas, 12 in Oklahoma City and 3 in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas, as part of an investigation called "Project Nefarious" that began in February.

    The ICE office in Dallas covers all of Oklahoma and 128 counties in northern Texas.

    40 arrested in Okla., Texas in national sweep - Houston Chronicle
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