News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Mar. 2, 2011: Over 678 gang members and associates with connections to Latin American and international drug trafficking networks in 168 U.S. cities have been iced.
Under the “Southern Tempest” operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, members of 133 different gangs were iced according to ICE Director John Morton.
Out of the gang members arrested, 322 of them had criminal histories and 421 were foreign nationals, Morton said. The gangs ranged from MS-13, the Sueros and Latin Kings to the Mexican Mafia and even Russian and Asian organizations.
Agents also seized 86 firearms, eight pounds of methamphetamine, 30 pounds of marijuana, one pound of cocaine, and more than $70,000, according to ICE.
Raids were executed on locations as diverse as Salt Lake City, Miami, Chicago and Puerto Rico.
“Gang members are not the kind of people we want walking our streets. They are not productive, law-abiding members of our community,” Morton said in an interview with FOX. ” They are involved in violent organizations that are increasingly not only affecting the public safety of the communities within which they find themselves, but are increasingly involved in transnational crime particularly drug trafficking.”