Turning up the heat on killer gangs tied to illegals, immigration officials on Thursday announced their biggest raid yet, the arrest of 1,378, including several on murder, drug and sex trafficking charges.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations said it just concluded a six week anti-gang operation with the arrests and called it "the largest gang surge conducted by HSI to date."
In pure numbers, ICE said, "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 charges. 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."
The Trump administration has made criminal gangs and illegals with criminal records a priority. The administration has put a special focus on MS-13, the gang from Latin America. Of the 1,378 arrested, 1,095 were gang members.
"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," he added.
ICE said that three of those arrested were illegals who entered the U.S. as minors and had their deportation deferred by President Obama who sought to protect so-called "Dreamers."
Other key details from ICE:
— 10 individuals arrested during this operation crossed the border as unaccompanied minors.
— Nine of the 10 were confirmed as gang members, eight of whom were MS-13 gang members.
— During this operation, HSI and its partner law enforcement agencies seized 238 firearms; various narcotics including 790.15 ounces of cocaine, 546.96 ounces of methamphetamine, 113.42 ounces of heroin, 1.59 ounces of fentanyl, and 8,019.46 ounces of marijuana; and $491,763 in U.S currency.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com