ICE Agents Arrest 25 in San Diego

Transnational sweep targeted gangs facilitating human smuggling and trafficking

By Lauren Steussy and Elena Gomez
|  Friday, Apr 27, 2012  |  Updated 8:17 PM PDT
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ICE Agents Arrest 25 in San Diego

Federal immigrations authorities arrested 25 people involved in gang activity in the San Diego region.
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Federal immigrations authorities arrested 25 people involved in gang activity in the San Diego region.

As part of a crackdown on gang members and their associates, the U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcements launched “Project Nefarious” in February.

Authorities were looking for people in gangs or associated with gangs. About half of them were foreign nationals. ICE announced Wednesday that they had arrested 637 gang members and associates. They include people from South Korea, Somalia and Mexico.

Of those people arrested, 25 were living in San Diego County, according to our media partner, the North County Times. Nine of those people face charges ranging from document fraud to battery.

The sweep was intended to target gangs associated with human smuggling and trafficking, an ICE statement said.

"Some of these individuals were directly involved in human trafficking activity. Other individual's gangs were involved and we were able to arrest them on these charges which disrupts the gang's ability to further these types of crimes," said Michael Carney, a special agent with ICE.

Carney said San Diego is a target for undocumented immigrants involved in gang activity.

"Los Angeles is our neighbor to the North, its the mecca for gangs, but San Diego is a close second in terms of the number of undocumented gangs," he said. "There is a lot of gang violence that occurs and these types of operations are important because we took 25 individuals off the street who were out there committing crimes."

Earlier this month, ICE agents announced they made their largest immigration sweep ever, arresting 100 undocumented immigrants in San Diego County and 3,100 undocumented immigrants throughout the U.S.

That sweep was part of ICE’s “Operation Cross Check,” which sought out immigration fugitives facing felony conviction.

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