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Feds Arrest Hundreds of Gang Members in 'Project Shadowfire' Raids

April 01, 2016  | 

More than 900 people associated with gangs like MS-13 and the Bloods were arrested across the country as part of a five-week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-led operation, officials announced Monday.

The operation was meant to target gang members involved in criminal activities, such as drug trafficking and human smuggling, and comes at a time that law enforcement officials in the D.C. area have become concerned about an increasing level of violence in the region they associate with the MS-13 gang, reports the Washington Times.

But such federal sweeps often pick up foot soldiers and other low-level gang members, who are ultimately not the ones calling the shots within the criminal enterprises, said gang expert Richard Valdemar, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's sergeant who specializes in gang investigations. As a result, he said, they aren't effective tactics in the long term.

"The sweeps are like band aids, they look good on the 5 o'clock news but they have no effect on the actual gangs," Mr. Valdemar said.

More successful are operations that charge gang leadership through Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statutes, which can help to disassemble the organizations by ensnaring gang leaders who may not be the ones actually carrying out the most violent crimes, he said.

ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez said some of those arrested are being charged as part of RICO investigations but she declined to say how many or where the investigations were centered because they are ongoing.

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 1:36 AM

Now if only the feds would go after the biggest and most lawless and murderous gang of them all.. the us police.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 9:38 AM

Marcus, the Police are vital to the security of our nation. Looks like you might have got a ticket recently. I'll never comprehend why people think like you. Idiots.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 10:06 AM

No i've never received a ticket nor committed any crimes.
But I do read the news, like how the police sadistically murdered unarmed Daniel Shaver for fun.. or routinely kill family dogs for sport.. or beat homeless men to death that are in handcuffs and surrounded by 6 police officers.

I reject my authoritarian overloads for good reason because you "men in blue" are evil.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 12:03 PM

"You men in blue are evil". Coming from a radical like you, Marcus, I'll accept that as a compliment.Hillary Clinton must be your hero.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 2:10 PM

It's not radical to speak the truth. When poop stinks.. it stinks.
Stop killing helpless family pets.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 2:27 PM

Just to let you know I've never killed a family pet. However, if at some time in the future a dog attacked me I'd have to shoot it. Its better to shoot a family pet than to land in the ER with numerous bite wounds, then have the pound euthanize the animal. I doubt you agree though. You'd make a hero out of the dog for protecting his home. When will you idiots ever learn.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 2:50 PM

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt.: Then how do you explain the many videos that show police shooting dogs that seconds before were wagging tails and clearly happy and loving? I know your going to "claim" that the dog changed demeanor seconds after the video but my own experience with dogs tells me otherwise (unless people abuse them).
Not to mention the endless testimony of disabled people that have had their well trained service dogs shot in the head for no reason?
I'm glad if you don't but there is seriously something wrong with police that are and if you want people to trust you somebody in authority has to acknowledge the problem and put an end to it... not just cover up and complain when the public has a problem with it.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 3:20 PM

Marcus, calling you an idiot would be an insult to all stupid people the world over. And you have the right to remain silent because whatever you have to say would probably be stupid anyway.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 7:09 PM

Ah.. I see basically when you have nothing intelligent to respond you to resort to 2 year old tactics.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/2/2016 8:17 PM

Troll, you seriously need to take your CRAP somewhere else, where others will appreciate it. Why do you bother to post here, when you could be on cop block, where most of the scum of society spends their time. I have plenty of intelligence but I'm not going to waste it on a fool. You're just trying to get a rise out of people; well you got it!!! SCUM.

OK then @ 4/3/2016 6:48 AM

I am always amused when people paint the police in the same generalization brush that they accuse us of painting "minorities" in.

Marcus @ 4/4/2016 9:36 PM

OK Then: The difference is the police have the power to kill people randomly with hardly any real justice (they never go to jail).. whereas minorities are your powerless kicking post.

Well that is, until they get tired enough of taking your crap, which is thankfully starting to happen.

OK then @ 4/6/2016 7:10 AM

The power to kill people randomly w/o consequence? Not sure what region of the US you are referring to but I can assure you that isn't the case where I work. If anything people have gotten so hesitant to take action of late, least they end up up as the next headline that they are putting themselves and the piblic in greater danger than usual.

At some point the criminal element has become the representative of various cultures and what is more alarming, is that generally good people are taking up the mantle of fallen criminals as imaginary victims of a fictious evil conspiracy.

RG @ 4/8/2016 10:36 AM

Marcus, I am so thankful that you are here to help protect the lives and livelihoods of all the gang members and criminals. When I am out patrolling I always feel sorry that no one ever sees their side of the story. We are so sneaky and good at what we do it just doesn't seem fair to these poor innocent people. God bless you, you are truly a Saint.

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