Targeting gangs across the country, teams from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested more than 1,200 people, while seizing weapons and drugs directly used by international crime syndicates.
Members and associates from 239 different gangs were arrested in 282 cities across the U.S. during what’s been called Project Wildfire, a six-week operation that included 215 state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. Already at least 913 people have been charged with criminal offenses as a result of the operation, which began in mid -February. Those arrested include 650 with violent criminal histories, including 19 individuals wanted on active warrants for murder and 15 for rape or sexual assault. There were 200 foreign nationals arrested in the raids.
“This is where grassroots law enforcement starts. This is how we get a baseline read of what’s happening… it all builds on itself…this is what federal agencies, investigative agencies like HSI, are doing to target transnational criminality,” Homeland Security’s Greg Mandoli said as he, and a team of officers that included local agencies, returned from raids in Placentia, Calif.