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Operation by Feds Leads To The Arrest 180 Gang Members, 34 Weapons Seized

August 10, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Operation by Feds Leads To The  Arrest 180 Gang Members, 34 Weapons Seized

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A three-month operation led to the arrests of 180 fugitives with ties to criminal street gangs in Arizona.

Operation GRIT (Gang Research, Intelligence and Targeting) 2015 went after gang members, including those wanted for murder, robbery, rape, drugs and assault.

Between May 11 and August 8, 180 people were arrested by US Marshals, 189 warrants were cleared, 34 firearms were seized and drugs were confiscated, according to the U.S. Marshals District of Arizona.

Of those 180 arrests, 59 were for drugs, 33 for aggravated assault, 29 for weapons offenses, nine for assisting a criminal street gang, eight for sex offenses, five for homicide, and five for robbery.

Police agencies from Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties focused on gang members and their associates across Arizona, including fugitives wanted for felony crimes, including homicide, robbery, rape, dangerous drugs, and assault.

Of the 180 fugitives arrested, five were wanted for murder, 33 for aggravated assault, eight for sex offenses and sex assaults and 28 for firearms-related violations.

Law enforcement agencies provided several examples of career criminals and violent gang members targeted during this operation.

On May 13, Johnny Salvador Ruiz and Armida Villareal were arrested in Phoenix. Ruiz was wanted on charges of attempted murder, participation in a criminal street gang, assisting a criminal street gang, aggravated assault and misconduct involving weapons..

On June 10, Roger Tyrone Porter, a documented member of a criminal street gang, was arrested in Chandler. Porter was wanted on charges of attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery.

Officers said Porter picked up the victim on June 4 and drove him to an area where he allegedly shot the victim three times and then told the victim “he might as well die” because Porter knew where his family lived.

On June 26, Steven Rodriguez was arrested in Tucson by the Tucson Police Department and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping. Rodriguez had been identified by police as one of three men who allegedly committed a “take-down” style armed robbery at a Tucson barbershop.

On July 10, Marco Mejia-Luna was arrested in Tucson. Luna was wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery in a carjacking incident.

“This joint law enforcement effort to deter and dismantle street level criminal gang activity makes our communities safer and sends the message that such activity will not be tolerated here,” DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead, said.

In fiscal year 2013, the latest year numbers were available, U.S. Marshals-led task forces arrested more than 110,000 federal, state, and local fugitives.

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