Dallas Morning News

July 20, 2010 by staff 

Dallas Morning News:(Dallas Morning News) — Federal immigration authorities said Monday that 105 people were arrested during a five-day operation that ended Saturday and targeted alleged gang members.

The operation was in conjunction with local law enforcement and state police including Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving and Carrollton.

Among those arrested was an illegal Salvadoran immigrant wanted for Carrollton home invasion, said John Chakwin, special agent in charge of the Dallas office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The charges against those arrested shootings, robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance, ICE officials said.

Four of those arrested in Fort Worth and Dallas were allegedly members of the gang Mara Salvatrucha, one of the most violent gangs operating in the U.S. and Central America. However, several small belonged to gangs in the Dallas area, such as How High and Deuce Deuce Krew Beckley, authorities said.

Chakwin said that about two thirds of those arrested were gang members.

“I’ve never seen so many local bands over the past four years I’ve been here,” he said.

The arrests were made by a national gang unit coordinated by ICE, the largest agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

Although the operation was described as targeting transnational gangs under “Operation Community Shield, 42 people arrested are U.S. citizens, ICE officials said.

About a third of the detainees were in U.S. illegally and accused of administrative violations of immigration law. The immigration status of others is still under investigation, ICE officials said.

Since ICE launched its national gang unit, more than 17,500 gang members and associates have been arrested, ICE officials said Monday.

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