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Transnational Gangs
02/19/2010

Gang member arrested in West Chester

ICE and local law enforcement also seize drugs, cash, and 9 mm handgun

PHILADELPHIA - A Mexican citizen and transnational gang member was administratively arrested on immigration violations on February 18 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A Mexican man, 24, a self-admitted member of the Ninos Locos, a Mexican criminal street gang, and an alien previously removed from the United States was found at a business located in the basement of a building on the 300 block of West Washington Street, West Chester, Pa. A search of the man revealed a 9mm handgun magazine containing bullets in his front pocket. A further search of the business revealed a 9mm Smith and Wesson Handgun, over 120 grams of cocaine and $2,200 in United States currency.

Working with the West Chester Police Department, West Goshen Police Department and the Westtown/East Goshen Police Department, ICE special agents collaborated on an investigation of a suspected gang member operating a business on the 300 block of West Washington Street, West Chester, Pa. ICE special agents and local police officers went to the business in order to identify the owner of the business and determine his status in the United States.

"As part of our continuing commitment under Operation Community Shield, ICE is dedicated to rid our communities of these illegal gang members in collaboration with our law enforcement partners," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia.

The Ninos Locos is a Mexican criminal street gang operating in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. Operation Community Shield partners with existing federal, state and local anti-gang efforts to share intelligence on gang organizations and their leadership, share resources and combine legal authorities to arrest, prosecute, imprison and deport transnational gang members.

Since inception in 2005 to date, ICE agents working in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies nationwide have arrested 16,144 street gang members and associates. Of those arrested, 202 were gang leaders and 2,898 were MS-13 gang members or associates. Through this initiative, ICE has seized 949 firearms. To date, of those arrested, 6,805 have been charged criminally, and 9,339 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.

To report suspicious activity, call ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or visit www.ice.gov.