23 gang members arrested in crackdown

George Hunter (The Detroit News)
January 27. 2010

Detroit — A task force made up of local and federal authorities arrested 23 gang members throughout Metro Detroit as part of a nationwide four-day sweep.

“Project Big Freeze,” an effort led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resulted in the arrests of 447 gang members and associates nationwide, including criminals and immigration violators. From Jan. 19-22, agents seized more than 45 firearms as part of Project Big Freeze, which targeted 83 cities across the country focusing on gangs with alleged ties to drug trafficking organizations.

“These are gangs that have connections to transnational drug trafficking,” ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said. “The gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are involved in any number of criminal activities, including human trafficking and drugs –anything that could potentially make a buck.”

Locally, the 23 arrests were in Detroit, Highland Park, Lincoln Park and St. Clair Shores, involving members of the Latin Counts, Sureños, Street Boys, Black Mafia Family and Gangster Disciples, among others.

Gang members wanted for crimes such as burglary, criminal sexual conduct and parole violation were targeted, Walls said. All 23 of those arrested had prior criminal records; 19 of them will face local prosecution; two have been placed in deportation proceedings; and two will be prosecuted federally, Walls said.

Five handguns and a semi-automatic assault rifle, including a .25 caliber, a .9 mm, a .40 caliber, .32 caliber, .38 caliber and an AK-47 assault rifle, were seized locally.

The National Gang Unit at ICE identifies violent street gangs and develops intelligence about their membership, associates, criminal activities and international movements. Since the unit’s inception in 2005, ICE agents working in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies nationwide have arrested more than 16,000 street gang members and associates nationwide.

The effort was also conducted as part of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, which was launched in 2006 by Attorney General Mike Cox to address gang crime. Participating agencies included: the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan State Police, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Detroit Police Department, Southgate Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department and the Trenton Police Department.

ghunter@detnews.com (313) 222-2134

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100127/METRO/1270412/1361/23-gang-members-arrested-in-crackdown#ixzz0dqLRcHNq

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5 Comments for “23 gang members arrested in crackdown”

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