LOS ANGELES—The Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 1133 arrests at the end of a five-week operation called Project Shadowfire to crackdown on transnational gang members and associates. The arrestees were associated with such gangs as MS-13, Sueños, Norteños and Bloods.
On March 21, ICE concluded Project Shadowfire after arrests were made across the U.S. with the greatest activity taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston and El Paso. Most of the suspects were from the U.S. and 239 of them were foreign nationals from 13 countries in Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.
Out of those arrested, 915 were gang members and associates, 1001 were charged with criminal offenses, and 132 were arrested for immigration violations. Types of criminal activity included drug trafficking, human smuggling, sex trafficking and racketeering. During Project Shadowfire special agents obtained 150 firearms, more than 20 kilograms of narcotics and over $70,000 in U.S. currency.
ICE started Operations Community Shield in 2005 so Homeland Security Investigations could collaborate with federal, state and local law enforcement in an effort to combat the growth and proliferation of transnational street gangs, prison gang, and outlaw motorcycle gangs in the U.S. and abroad. Over 40,000 have been arrested since Operations Community Shield started. Partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement helped Homeland Security Investigations gain actionable intelligence they can use when pursuing complex criminal enterprise investigations and federal prosecutions.
The National Gang Unit oversees HSI’s gang portfolios to assist special agents fight against criminal enterprises through the development of uniform enforcement and intelligence-sharing strategies. Some of the National Gang Unit’s operations have been Project Nefarious in 2012 that targeted gangs involved in human smuggling and trafficking, and Project Southbound targeting the Sueños, the fastest growing transnational gang in the U.S.
For more information visit www.ice.gov.