CALEXICO — Immigration officials arrested one person here as part of Project Nefarious which resulted in the arrests of 637 gang members nationwide.
The operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations was conducted in 150 cities and Honduras to target transnational street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs involving human smuggling and trafficking organizations.
Project Nefarious began in February with threat assessments, intelligence gathering, information sharing and target identification before enforcement operations occurred April 9 through April 21, according to a press release.
Special agents worked with 148 federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies to arrest people from 28 gangs associated with human smuggling and trafficking.
“By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities,” HIS Executive Associate Director James Dinkins wrote in a press release.
About a third of those arrested had violent criminal histories and 10 were wanted for murder.
In addition to the arrests, special agents seized 52 firearms, 5,462 pounds of marijuana, 6.6 pounds of cocaine, $201,437 in U.S. currency and 14 vehicles during the operation.
Those arrested came from 33 countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Project Nefarious was part of HIS’s Operation Community Shield global anti-gang initiative which began in 2005.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com.
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