Hundreds arrested in "biggest ever" United States gang crackdown

The US Homeland Security Investigations conducted its largest gang surge over a six-week nationwide operation that resulted in 1,378 arrests. Those arrested were operating out of a house that was being used for alleged sex trafficking. However, 280 individuals were arrested exclusively on immigration-related offenses.

Of the 1,378 arrested, 933 were US citizens and 445 were foreign nationals from more than two dozen countries.

The targets of the operation were "involved in crimes that have an effect not only here locally, but nationally and transnationally, " Brian Vicente, the assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio, Texas, told the San Antonio Express-News.

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"Our efforts to dismantle gangs are much more effective in areas where partnership with local law enforcement is strongest", noted ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. They said identifying and capturing these criminals takes major help from local law enforcement as well. Homan said that practice hurts law enforcement and puts the public at risk.

Federal officials released the names of only four of the people arrested in the operation, which the agency dubbed Project New Dawn. It concluded with a total of 1,378 arrests made, 20,000 ounces of narcotics and over 200 guns seized.

The agency says 1,098 suspected gang members were arrested on a variety of federal and state criminal charges, while 280 others face administrative immigration charges.

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The gang affiliations of all the members were not specified, but the department said one member was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

The 1,378 people arrested in the sweep included gang members and affiliates with the Bloods, Crips, Sureños, and 104 members of the El Salvador-headquartered MS-13. Twenty-nine of them allegedly belong to the MS-13 gang.

Three of the gang members arrested in the ICE operation had protected status as illegal immigrants under the Obama-era DACA program.

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Additionally, of the 1,478 gang members arrested, 10 of them had crossed the U.S. -Mexico Brder as unaccompanied minors.

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