An Immigration and Customs Enforcement-led operation led to the arrest of 1,378 gang members and associates, agency leaders announced Thursday.
The six-week operation was part of “Community Shield,” an anti-gang program launched in 2005, and was lead by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit in conjunction with state and local agencies.
In addition to the arrests, officials seized $491,763 in currency and 238 firearms.
Derek Benner, deputy associate director of ICE HSI, described it as the “largest gang surge to date.” Benner announced that 280 people were arrested on immigration violations and will face deportation proceedings. He also said that three recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were arrested in the gang sweep.
The four gangs with the most representation among the arrested individuals were the Bloods, the Crips, Sur 13, and MS 13. The charges ranged from murder and assault to narcotics trafficking.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said that violent street gangs are the “biggest threat facing our communities.”
He vowed the agency is not “done,” and that they are maintaining a “laser focus on these groups.”