Updated 7:25 AM
ICE investigation shows rising international gang presence
By: Brad Broders


CHARLOTTE -- New details are emerging about an Immigration and Customs Enforcement gang operation last week which put a dozen people in custody. The weeklong ICE investigation led to the arrests of both legal and illegal citizens on gang related and other criminal charges.

ICE agent Delbert Richburg is touting the agency's success after the arrests. "These were individual arrests as part of a bigger picture," he said.

Officials said they nabbed three gang members and one affiliate in southwest Charlotte. Another eight were rounded up on other criminal charges including possession of drugs and brass knuckles. Agents targeted neighborhoods and nightclubs recognized to have gang activity.

"Charlotte is a cosmopolitan city, and we are arresting gang members from all walks of life," said Richburg.

The latest raid pulled nationals from Vietnam, Uruguay and Honduras, which Richburg said is proof more gangs are emerging from more countries around the world.

Among them is the Asian Boyz. The group originated from Cambodians in California but now has an influence in North Carolina. "We are starting to see them more, but all gangs are an equal threat and we don't like to classify one over the other," said Richburg.

While ICE officials said they’re also in the midst of other long term gang operations, they admit the growing international gang presence means no neighborhood in the Queen City can be overlooked.

“You can’t target one individual group or ethnicity,