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  1. #1
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    16 illegal immigrants arrested in Omaha

    Updated: 51 minutes ago

    16 illegal immigrants arrested in Omaha

    Associated Press
    2:17 PM CDT, July 25, 2008

    OMAHA, Neb. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 17 people in a three-day operation targeting illegal immigrants with ties to violent street gangs.

    Federal Immigration agents say those arrested during the operation that concluded Thursday night include eight gang members and four gang associates. The remaining five were illegal immigrants with no known gang affiliation.

    One arrest was made in Council Bluffs, Iowa. All the rest occurred in Omaha.

    Eleven of those arrested have been convicted of crimes including assault and possessing or distributing narcotics.

  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Sting nets arrest of 17 illegals
    Chad Nation, Staff Writer

    Seventeen illegal immigrants were arrested in a three-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement targeting illegal aliens with ties to violent street gangs in the metropolitan area.

    The 17 arrested included eight gang members and four gang associates of the MS-13, Surenos, Rebels and MBC gangs. ICE agents also arrested five illegal aliens with no known gang affiliation who were encountered during the targeted arrests.

    Sixteen of the arrests occurred in Omaha and one in Council Bluffs. Eleven of those arrested have been convicted of crimes including assault, possessing narcotics and distributing narcotics.

    Tim Counts, a spokesperson for ICE, said the arrests were made in conjunction local law enforcement.

    Counts said seven of the 17 arrested face potential criminal charges. Six of the arrests have been referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nebraska and a seventh has been referred to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.

    "The U.S. Attorneys have yet to make a decision on whether to press charges in the seven cases," Counts said. "Charges range from false documentation to illegal re-entry."

    Because of ongoing investigations, Counts could not comment on specific details of the arrests.

    Three of the arrests were previously deported and could face charges for re-entering the country illegally. It is a felony - punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison - to re-enter the country after being formally deported.

    The arrests were made under an ongoing national ICE initiative called "Operation Community Shield," in which ICE partners with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to address the public safety threat posed by transnational street gangs.

    Partnerships with local law enforcement agencies are essential to the success of the initiative, Counts said.

    The operation - which, in addition to ICE, involved Omaha Police, the Nebraska State Patrol, Bellevue Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - began Tuesday and ended Thursday night, and targeted foreign-born gang members and associates in the metro area. Of the 17 arrested, 15 were Mexican nationals, one was from El Salvador and one from Honduras. All were illegally in the country.

    The 10 arrests who do not face potential criminal charges are in ICE custody and will be processed for deportation, Counts said. Whether charges are filed against the other seven arrests, they, too, will eventually be deported.

    "The seven people facing possible criminal charges will be deported if those charges are not filed; or if they are convicted of a crime, they will be deported after serving their prison sentences," Counts said.

    Since ICE began Operation Community Shield in February 2005, more than 8,900 gang members belonging to more than 700 different gangs have been arrested nationwide.

    "Street gangs pose a growing public safety threat to communities throughout this area," said Bill Wallrapp, resident agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Omaha.

    "We will not tolerate violent gang activity in our communities. We will use all of our law enforcement tools to thwart criminal efforts of street gangs. Operation Community Shield shows how ICE works with our law enforcement partners to dismantle these criminal organizations and help protect our communities."
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