More than 200 arrested in Houston during nationwide gang roundup, feds say

In this image distributed by ICE, a federal agent works with a Texas marshal during a nationwide gang operation May 11, 2017. (ICE)

HOUSTON – More than 200 people were arrested in the Houston area as part of a six-week nationwide gang sweep that concluded last weekend, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The agency said Thursday in a written statement that the operation, which ran from March 26 to May 6, targeted gang members and associates involved in crimes including drug trafficking, sex trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling, murder and racketeering.

A total of 1,378 people were arrested during what the agency called the Homeland Security Investigations' largest gang surge to date. A spokesman for the agency said 207 were arrested in the Houston area.

Authorities said nearly 1,100 people were arrested on federal or state charges, 21 of whom face murder charges and seven face rape and sexual assault charges. The remaining 280 were arrested on immigration violations, they said.

Of all those arrested, 933 people were U.S. citizens and 445 people were foreign nationals from 21 countries in South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, officials said.

Officials said they identified 137 of those arrested as members of the Bloods, 118 from the Sureños, 104 from MS-13 and 104 from the Crips.

The operation resulted in the seizure of 238 firearms, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana and $491,763 in U.S. currency, officials said.

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