39 Gang members arrested in Phoenix in past 4 months

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PHOENIX -- Federal agents arrested 39 immigrants in the Phoenix area in the past four months as part of a nationwide crackdown on violent street gangs.

Crackdown on street gangs

Nationwide Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say 1,759 people were arrested in 28 states. Of those, 1,315 were gang members and gang associates,

The arrests are part of Operation Community Shield, an effort launched in 2005 to pair federal immigration agents with state and local authorities to curb criminal street gangs.

Since 2005, ICE has arrested more than 11,100 gang members and associates from about 890 gangs.

The federal government has partnered with state and local law enforcement to rid the country of the spreading gang problem, arresting gang members on administrative violations that result in deportation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)