‘Project Wildfire’ Yields Nearly 1,000 Arrested Gang Members
A six-week operation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led to the arrest of 976 gang members and associates nationwide.
Members and associates from 239 different gangs were arrested in 282 cities in the operation dubbed Project Wildfire.
The majority of arrestees were affiliated with the Sureños, Norteños, Bloods, Crips, Puerto Rican-based gangs and several prison-based gangs.
ICE-HSI special agents collaborated with 215 state, local, and federal law enforcement partners, including ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), to apprehend the gang members and associates.
A total of 1,207 arrests were made during the operation, all but 150 of whom were male. The vast majority of the total were arrested on gang related crimes, but 231 other individuals were arrested on federal and/or state criminal violations and administrative immigration violations.
The San Juan, Dallas, El Paso, Los Angeles, and Detroit HSI areas saw the most action and enforcement activity.
“Criminal gangs inflict violence and fear upon our communities, and without the attention of law enforcement, these groups can spread like a cancer,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “That’s why ICE works with law enforcement partners around the country to stamp out gang activity wherever it takes place.”
The operation was part of HSI’s Operation Community Shield, a global initiative, where HSI collaborates with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to combat the growth and proliferation of transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States and abroad.
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