ICE operation nets over 100 arrests related to gang activity

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PHOENIX - Over 100 suspects with ties to 19 difference street gangs are now behind bars facing criminal charges related gang activity and possible deportation.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Community Shield, an ongoing initiative by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations National Gang Unit.

ICE partners with other federal, state and local agencies to target transnational gangs.

Of the 102 individuals arrested, 29 are currently facing prosecution on state criminal charges. Three of the suspects arrested will be prosecuted for felony re-entry after deportation.

“Gang activity poses one of the greatest threats to public safety in Arizona communities,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge for ICE-HSI in Arizona. “ICE is successfully targeting these gangs, arresting their leaders, disrupting their operations, and putting their members and associates behind bars.”

Twenty-six of those arrested are U.S. Citizens and the remaining 76 are foreign nationals.

Since Operation Community Shield began in February 2005, ICE agents have arrested more than 18,000 gang members and associated nationwide.