Four-month nationwide gang sweep nets 1,700 arrests
lgal3824 | October 1, 2008 at 05:55 pmby
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Washington, D.C.-- More than 1,700 alleged gang members and their associates, many of them illegal immigrants, were arrested during a four-month nationwide crackdown that spanned 53 cities, including Los Angeles and San Diego, federal officials said today.
"We've inflicted significant damage on various violent street gangs in every part of the country, from Wichita to Sheboygan," said Julie L. Myers, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "And that has made our communities immeasurably safer."
California led the arrest totals with 430 during the course of the law enforcement initiative, which ran from June 1 to Sept. 30 and included 28 states. Of those arrests, 168 were made in Los Angeles, 96 in San Bernardino, and 81 in San Diego. Texas came in second with 271 arrests.
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Operation Community Shield mostly targeted Latin and Central American street gangs, including Surenos-13, MS-13, 18th Street Gang, and the Latin Kings, Myers said. The alleged gang members were mostly foreign-born, with many involved in serious crimes including robbery, extortion, rape and murder, according to ICE officials.
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