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More than 600 Gang Members Arrested In U.S., 40 In Tex., Okla.

By Matt Goodman, CBSDFW.com
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced that a nearly three-month investigation has yielded the arrest of 637 gang members in 150 U.S. cities involved in drug trafficking, human smuggling and firearm violations.

“Project Nefarious” started in February with “threat assessments, intelligence gathering, information sharing and target identification,” according a federal release issued Thursday.

At least 40 suspects were arrested in Texas and Oklahoma as part of the investigation, a spokesman said.

“The goal of Project Nefarious was to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and remove gang members and associates affiliated with human smuggling and trafficking organizations,” said ICE HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins in the announcement. “By ridding our streets of 637 gang members and associates, we are putting a dent in the violence these transnational criminal street gangs bring to our communities.

The FBI; the Drug Enforcement Agency; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the U.S. Marshals all combined in Project Nefarious.

Investigators also seized 52 firearms; 5,462.6 pounds of marijuana; 6.6 pounds of cocaine; $201,437 in U.S. dollars; and 14 vehicles, the announcement says.

Forty percent of the suspects have violent crimes on their records. Here are more specific numbers, taken directly from the release:

Of the 637 gang members or associates arrested:

  • 479 were charged with criminal offenses
  • 158 were administrative arrests
  • 210 had violent criminal histories
  • 10 were wanted for murder, and
  • 290 were foreign nationals.
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