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Homeland Security arrests over 600 gang suspects

By Alicia A. Caldwell

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 600 suspected gang members have been arrested in the Homeland Security Department's largest crackdown on street gangs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday.

ICE agents, along with local authorities in 179 cities, arrested 638 suspected gang members over a monthlong period in March and April.

ICE said 78 suspected gang members were arrested on federal charges while 447 others currently face only state charges. ICE arrested 113 others on administrative immigration charges.

More than 400 of those arrested had violent criminal histories, including seven people wanted on murder charges. ICE did not identify all those arrested or the charges they face.

"These are bad people with bad motives from bad organizations," said Thomas Winkowski, the principal deputy assistant secretary for ICE.

Arrests were made across the country, including in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Maryland and New Mexico.

The latest crackdown, dubbed "Project Southbound," is part of a larger initiative started in 2005 to target street gangs with international ties. Since the effort, ICE says it has arrested more than 33,000 suspected gang members.

Winkowski said nearly three-quarters of the suspected gang members arrested in the latest operation belonged to the Surenos, or Sur 13, street gangs.

The Surenos, an umbrella group of street gangs with ties to Latin America that includes gangs such as the ultraviolent Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, originated in Southern California and has members across the country. Its members and affiliates are considered "foot soldiers" for the Mexican Mafia criminal organization, Winkowski said.

In its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, the Justice Department said the Sur 13 gangs are expanding faster than any other national gang. The government said Sur 13 members are responsible for crimes that include murder, extortion and drug trafficking.

The crackdown also included several members of MS-13, the Salvadoran gang known for using machetes to hack and stab victims.

According to a 12-count racketeering indictment unsealed in March in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, nine of the gang's members are accused of crimes including murder, extorting high school students, running brothels, witness tampering and obstructing justice. At least three MS-13 members charged in the indictment were already in jail during the latest gang roundup.

Last year the Obama administration levied financial sanctions against six leaders of the gang, which the U.S. government previously designated as an international criminal group.

MS-13 was founded more than two decades ago by immigrants fleeing El Salvador's civil war. Its founders built a reputation as one of the most ruthless and sophisticated street gangs, as they took lessons from the brutal war to the streets of Los Angeles.

MS-13 also has a strong presence in Southern California, Washington and Northern Virginia, all areas with substantial Salvadoran populations, and as many 10,000 members in 46 states. The gang is also allied with several of Mexico's warring drug cartels.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
postmadnes May 02 2014 at 5:14 AM

Put them under Sheriff Joe in Arizona for awhile better yet build a prision with steel walls I mean like tall with steel cell blocks throw them all in with lots of hand guns and amo, knives, axes etc., place bullet proof sheilding around the top of the walls that the hand guns can't go through then several times a day open the doors from the various cell blocks and let into a central large park and see what happens it's a easy way to see them delete themselves within the walls of the prision and give them medical suppies and some stuff but basically send them to the street within their environment this way we can elimate these peopls that are a total waste of humanity let them take each other out, I think it's the human thing to do they want that kind of life give it to them only don't expose the general public let them get a taste of the baddest of the baddest then maybe they will understand what it's like to in the general publication so do bad go to this new place I like it

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1 reply
harry postmadnes May 02 2014 at 6:35 AM

We should do what they would have done 50 years ago when America had a set of balls. Send in the tropps and knock the hell out of em all. Inform Mexico that this is a form of invasion and be prepared to face the consequences.

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1 reply
jrwolfman1 harry May 02 2014 at 7:39 AM

The problem with tha is... When we go to war with a Nation when its over we always leave them in better conditions in which they previous had. Can you imagine the difference in price between a Donkey crap adobe and a brick house? Then in most cases they become superpowers. The Iraqis and Afghanastanees just havent figured out how to stop killing each other to see their goverment is keeping them repressed. However Im ok with them killing each other.

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elkhartbiker May 02 2014 at 7:14 AM

Deport 'em immediately. If they ever return (and are caught) they should be executed with no questions asked.

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2 replies
Deborah elkhartbiker May 02 2014 at 7:24 AM

Just shoot on sight PERIOD before they kill your child or wife

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dbs7641937 elkhartbiker May 02 2014 at 7:48 AM

How could you deport them. You couldn't get them by the mass of people they're letting come in to our country.

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wbearl May 02 2014 at 7:18 AM

Guess when the Liberals won't let you do your job right the first time, you just have to go out and do it right the second time. Just think, they arrested 600, how many more should have been arrested?

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rlpl02 May 02 2014 at 7:18 AM

Obama legislation levied sanctions against six leaders---what? They took away their food stamps?

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mickylitz2 May 02 2014 at 7:21 AM

Last year the Obama administration levied financial sanctions against six leaders of the gang, which the U.S. government previously designated as an international criminal group

**************************************************
Obama certainly carry a big stick ...
What a joke this president is ..

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1 reply
kcarthey mickylitz2 May 02 2014 at 7:29 AM

But not as bad a joke by far than that which you just tried (and failed) to make.

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Mark May 02 2014 at 7:22 AM

ALL OF THESE GANGS HAVE MEMBERS IN PRISONS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, THEY SHOULD BE MONITORED CLOSELY ON THE PHONES, AND ANY MESSAGES TRACED.... THERE SHOULD BE A WAR ON THE GANGS OF AMERICA, AND ALL GANGS SHOULD BE LABLED AS TERRORISTS ! THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE, TERRORISTS, MURDERERS, THIEVES, DRUG TRAFFICKERS, AND RAPISTS !!
THEY OFTEN RECRUIT FROM VERY YOUNG PEOPLE TO THOSE TO SCARED TO STAND UP TO THEM... THE GANG MEMBERS SHOULD BE TARGETED AND ARRESTED ON SIGHT !!! LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AND GO TO WAR ON THE OTHER DRUGS LIKE METH, HERION, AND CRACK !! THESE ARE BAD DRUGS, NOT POT OR HASH, OR MUSHROOMS !! LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AND THEN CLOSE THE BORDERS TO THE DRUG MOVEMENTS !! PRICES FOR MARIJUANA IS VERY HIGH DUE TO GREED, AND AVAILABILITY !! LEGALIZATION WOULD FORCE PRICES TO DROP AND TAKE THE GREED OUT OF THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO ONLY WANT TO PROFIT AND NOT OFFER COMPASSION TO THOSE WHO NEED IT !!

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1 reply
Mark Mark May 02 2014 at 7:26 AM

ALL MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS WHO ARE ABLE TO DO SO, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GROW ALL THEY NEED FOR THE WHOLE YEAR DURING THE GROWING SEASON, OR INDOORS IF THEY CAN AFFORD IT !! THAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH MMJ, THERE IS NOT ANY OF THE COMPASSION THAT IS BEING USED TO LEGALIZE... WHO DOES IT HELP IF YOU CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY THE HIGH PRICES FROM DISPENSARIES ?? WASHINGTON D.C. IS THE ONLY PLACE WITH A COMPASSIONATE LAW FOR MMJ, IT STATES THAT LOW OR NO INCOME PATIENTS CAN HAVE THEIR MEDICINE AT GREATLY REDUCED COSTS OR FOR FREE !!
THAT IS A TRULY COMPASSIONATE ACT, NOT SELLING POT FOR BIG PROFIT !!

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cbcmkting May 02 2014 at 7:22 AM

Need to get over to the White House quickly to take down those even more viscious gang leaders who are impacting hundreds of millions, murdering, stealing, etc. with impunity!!!

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2 replies
rb2perf cbcmkting May 02 2014 at 7:23 AM

indeed !

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kcarthey cbcmkting May 02 2014 at 7:27 AM

The Republicans starting with Clevon Bundy?

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Sieben May 02 2014 at 7:23 AM

Rid our country of all of them

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1 reply
dbs7641937 Sieben May 02 2014 at 7:39 AM

To do this you would have to infringe on their rights. Can't do that.

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Deborah May 02 2014 at 7:23 AM

Here's my soloution with a very good chance of working. For every ONE illegal we capture we deduct 1 Million dollars off the country of origins foreign aid package from the US. That is the approximate cost of having an illegal in this country. My guess is the countries after about 100 captures would figure out their BENFITOS and corruption of same to line their pockets was dwindling and THEY would police their own. We could have a clean border in no time flat.

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1 reply
trifeloco2012 Deborah May 02 2014 at 10:04 AM

Lol you're stupid!

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rjen164497 May 02 2014 at 7:23 AM

Eric Holder will have all of his cousins released. They are just misunderstood boys who meant no harm. Most could have been Baracks sons.

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