December 11, 2007
ICE arrests 21 during operation
targeting transnational gang
CHICAGO – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents here, in close partnership with local law enforcement agencies, arrested 21 aliens from Mexico this week during a two-day operation that targeted violent street members in the northwest suburbs.
These are the latest arrests under an ICE program called “Operation Community Shield,” an ongoing nationwide initiative in which ICE agents partner with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to address the public safety threat posed by transnational gangs. These partnerships are essential to the success of the initiative, and they help ensure officer safety during operations.
The local ICE operation that ended Tuesday targeted foreign national gang members in the northwest suburbs. Most arrests were made in the community of Carpentersville, Ill., with additional arrests made in the following locations: Belvidere, Bensenville, Cary, Lake Zurich and West Dundee. Of the 21 Mexican nationals arrested, all but one are male. Nineteen were illegally residing in the United States, and two are U.S. permanent residents whose criminal convictions render them eligible for deportation.
The operation began Sunday night and concluded Tuesday morning. It was conducted with the assistance of the Carpentersville police and targeted foreign nationals with affiliations with violent street gangs. Sixteen of the 21 aliens arrested are documented members of the Maniac Latin Disciples and SureÃ±o-13 street gangs; ICE agents also arrested an additional five illegal aliens with no gang affiliation who they encountered during the two-day operation.
Nationally, ICE has arrested more than 7,500 street gang members representing more than 700 different gangs since Operation Community Shield began in 2005.
“Street gangs pose a growing public safety threat to communities throughout this area,” said Elissa A. Brown, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. “We will use all our law enforcement tools and resources to thwart criminal efforts of gang members. Operation Community Shield shows how ICE works with our law enforcement partners to dismantle these criminal organizations and protect our communities.”
Carpentersville Police Chief David Neumann added: “I am sure that those in the community who have been victimized by gang violence, property destruction and intimidation will appreciate ICE’s efforts in targeting gang members.”
Some of the crimes associated with the gang members arrested during this local operation include: drug possession, burglary, aggravated battery, arson, criminal trespass and obstruction of justice. One individual had an active warrant for his arrest and was turned over to local authorities to face criminal charges. After these charges are resolved, he will be turned back over to ICE for deportation.
— ICE —