Thirteen active gang members are behind bars thanks to a multi-agency sweep of known gang areas on Wednesday.
As part of the ongoing effort to deter and combat gang related crime and activity in the Santa Clarita Valley, several law enforcement personnel from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Detective Bureau, the City of Santa Clarita/Sheriff's COBRA Unit and the Community Interaction Team (CIT), joined in partnership with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and representatives from the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, to carry out a targeted gang enforcement operation in Santa Clarita.
Personnel hit the streets at 16 locations in the Canyon Country, Newhall and Castaic areas where active gang members are known to reside. Each location was searched resulting in several detentions of known gang members. The extensive and coordinated effort was just another in a series of such operations being carried out by law enforcement officials in the Santa Clarita Valley dating back to last summer.
Deputies and other officials are working hard to keep close tabs on suspected and known gang members in an effort to curb gang activity, violence, graffiti, and crimes associated with gang participation; such as drug sales and weapons possession.
Wednesday's operation resulted in the detention of 4 juveniles and 4 adults who are known active foreign national gang members. ICE officials transported all of the foreign gang members to downtown Los Angeles, where they will face immigration proceedings.
All told, the deputies made 13 arrests or detentions during the operation resulting in new charges on three individuals for possession of ammunition, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of forged identification information.
ICE's joint enforcement activities with the Sheriff’s Department are part of the agency’s ongoing anti-gang initiative known as Operation Community Shield.
Through Operation Community Shield, launched in 2005, ICE is using its powerful immigration and customs authorities in a coordinated, national campaign against criminal street gangs in the United States. As part of the effort, ICE partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to arrest, prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members.