MILWAUKEE — Thirty men, including several with criminal records, were arrested this week during an anti-gang operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Milwaukee Police Department.
The two-day operation, which ended Thursday, targeted foreign-born gang members and their associates throughout the Milwaukee area. ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is coordinating the detention and deportation of the aliens to their home countries.
"Removing dangerous gang members and their associates from our streets, makes our communities and homeland safer," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Chicago. "Enhancing public safety is a top priority for ICE HSI. And working with our local law enforcement partners makes all our operations more effective." Hartwig oversees six Midwestern states, including Wisconsin.
This enforcement operation was conducted as part of Operation Community Shield, an ongoing national ICE HSI initiative that targets foreign-born gang members and gang associates.
Seventeen of those arrested during this operation are documented gang members; 13 are gang associates from local street gangs. Gang affiliations include the C14 SureÃ±os, Mexican Posse, Latin Kings and Brown Pride.
Six were arrested on criminal warrants or charges, and 24 were administratively arrested by ICE on immigration violations.
Following are two cases from this week's arrests: (For privacy reasons, ICE does not include identifiable information on individuals.)
- A 29-year-old U.S. permanent resident whose criminal convictions make him deportable. His criminal record includes convictions for battery, possessing marijuana, possessing cocaine, criminal damage to property, and violating a domestic abuse injunction. He is a Mexican Posse gang member.
- A 29-year-old Mexican national who illegally re-entered the country after having been deported. His criminal convictions include possessing a dangerous weapon, pointing a firearm at a person, possessing cocaine, escape-criminal arrest. He belongs to the Mexican Posse gang.
The 24 who were administratively arrested on immigration violations are in ICE custody and have been placed into deportation proceedings. Five men arrested had been previously deported. Re-entering the United States after being formally deported is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Under Operation Community Shield, ICE partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target the significant public safety threat posed by transnational criminal street gangs.
Since Operation Community Shield began in February 2005, ICE agents nationwide have arrested more than 22,000 gang members and associates linked to more than 1,200 different street gangs. More than 250 of those arrested were gang leaders.
The National Gang Unit at ICE identifies violent street gangs and develops intelligence on their membership, associates, criminal activities and international movements to deter, disrupt and dismantle gang operations by tracing and seizing cash, weapons and other assets derived from criminal seized activities.