SAN ANTONIO -- A six-week nationwide gang operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations concluded this weekend with 1,378 arrests across the United States, ICE reported Thursday.
The agency said that 76 were arrested in San Antonio and south Texas. The operation targeted gang members and associates involved in drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.
ICE reported that out of the 1,378 total arrested, 1,098 were arrested on federal and/or state criminal charges, including 21 individuals arrested on murder related charges and seven for rape and sexual assault charge. The remaining 280 were arrested on administrative immigration violations. Of the total arrested, 933 were U.S. citizens and 445 were foreign nationals from 21 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.
Numerous state, local and federal law enforcement partners, including ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, participated in the HSI-led operation, which ran March 26 to May 6.
“Gangs threaten the safety of our communities, not just in major metropolitan areas but in our suburbs and rural areas, too,” said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. “Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere. Our efforts to dismantle gangs are much more effective in areas where partnership with local law enforcement is strongest.”
The agency planned an afternoon news conference to further address the arrests and the overall operation.