Twenty-one of the offenders were arrested on murder-related charges, seven were arrested for rape and sex assault charges, and three for assaults on law enforcement officers. However, 280 individuals were arrested exclusively on immigration-related offenses.
More than two-thirds of the people arrested are USA citizens, and all but two of those were born in this country, ICE officials said.
Gerardo Diaz-Rodriguez, a Mexican national who illegal re-entered the United States after being allowed to voluntarily depart the United States in lieu of formal removal in April 2003, was arrested by ICE deportation officers at his Clayton County residence during a targeted enforcement operation May 4 in concert with the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. "Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere".
The agency planned an afternoon news conference to further address the arrests and the overall operation. Of the total arrests, 13 were members of Detroit-based gangs, including the Latin Count, 18th Street, Cheddda Avenue and Surenos.
ICE said three of the arrested individuals were previous recipients of protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, instituted by the Obama administration for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
The four gangs with the most representation among the arrested individuals were the Bloods, the Crips, Sur 13, and MS 13. Law enforcement also confirmed gang membership with other criteria such as tattoos or if an individual admitted belonging to a gang.
The agency says 1,098 suspected gang members were arrested on a variety of federal and state criminal charges, while 280 others face administrative immigration charges.
According to a press release, the 55 people in Arizona who were arrested included 48 citizens, seven foreign nationals, 16 confirmed gang members, and seven gang associates.
While the operation took place across the country, a majority of the activity was in the Houston, New York, Atlanta, and Newark areas. Eight of those were alleged members of MS-13, Benner said.
More than 900 of the arrested were United States citizens.
"This latest operation clearly shows our collective resolve to attack and dismantle the street gangs that are threatening our communities", Steve Francis, acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit said in a statement.
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