ICE: 52 gang members in DC, Maryland, Virginia during national operation

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the "largest gang surge" to date conducted by its Homeland Security Investigations.

Twenty-one of the 1,378 people arrested were taken into custody on murder related charges, seven were arrested on rape or sexual assault charges, and 280 were arrested on immigration violations, ICE said. This included drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, sex trafficking, murder and racketeering. The other 280 were arrested for being in the US illegally.

Fifty-two people were arrested in the District, Virginia and Maryland, . Of these, nine were gang members, all but one belonging to MS-13, officials said.

According to ICE, immigration officials and law enforcement have now arrested more than 7,300 MS-13 members since the onset of "Operation Community Shield" in 2005. The remaining 283 claimed no affiliation with any gangs but were arrested for gang-related activities or had tattoos that identified them as being a gang member.

"While Cook County's practice of denying ICE access to its facilities and refusing to honor any ICE detainer is a serious threat to public safety, this agency nevertheless is acting in good faith to return a fugitive to justice", said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher. Vicente said local law enforcement plays a big role in the round-ups.

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Three of the individuals arrested were previously under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established in 2012 under former President Barack Obama. He especially drew a hard line on gang members, saying, "All illegal aliens in gangs should be apprehended and deported".

Of the 1,378 total arrested, 1,095 were confirmed as gang members and affiliates, authorities say.

Additionally, of the 1,478 gang members arrested, 10 of them had crossed the U.S. -Mexico Brder as unaccompanied minors.

"During this operation, HSI and its partner law enforcement agencies seized 238 firearms; various narcotics including 790.15 ounces of cocaine, 546.96 ounces of methamphetamine, 113.42 ounces of heroin, 1.59 ounces of fentanyl, and 8,019.46 ounces of marijuana; and $491,763 in U.S currency", ICE reported.

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