LOS ANGELES (KABC) --During a five-week operation, known as Project Shadowfire, U.S. Immigration and Custom's Enforcement agents arrested more than 1,000 gang members from all over the country.
ICE said 1,133 people were arrested. Of those 1,133 arrests, more than 900 were transnational criminal gang members, while the rest were associated with transnational criminal activity. Those activities include drug trafficking, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.
Most of the arrests in the operation, which took place between Feb. 15 and March 21, were U.S. citizens. Authorities said the greatest activity during the operation was done in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, El Paso, Atlanta and San Juan.
Agents arrested 239 foreign nationals from 13 different countries in Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. More than $70,000 and 20 kilograms of narcotics, as well as 150 firearms were also seized during the nationwide sting.
The majority of the arrestees were affiliated with well-known gangs such as MS-13, Surenos, Nortenos, Bloods and prison-based gangs. According to ICE, 1,001 arrestees were charged with criminal offenses and 132 were arrested for immigration violations.
Project Shadowfire was a surge operation conducted under the ICE-developed program Operation Community Shield. The global initiative was started in 2005 to combat the growth and rapid increase of transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs around the world. ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents work with federal, state and local law enforcement.
Since the start of Operation Community Shield, agents working with various law enforcement agencies have made more than 40,000 gang-related arrests and seized more than 8,000 firearms.