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Authorities arrest 215 in anti-gang operation in Texas

December 21, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest 215 in anti-gang operation in Texas

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Federal, state, and local authorities joined forces to bust 215 gang members and affiliates in San Antonio, Texas. The arrests took place as a result of a three-month joint task force operation that concluded on December 18th.

Deputy U.S. Marshals, San Antonio officers, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Texas troopers collaborated in Operation Triple Beam, which targeted gang violence and crime reduction on the east side of the city.

The operation led to the arrests of 215 suspects and the seizure of 70 firearms, $233,373 in cash, and $176,153 in drugs, Breitbart Texas reported.

“We focused like a laser beam and collaborated with our state and local partners,” U.S. Marshals Agent Alessio Hernandez stated.

Marshals from the Gang Enforcement Unit headed the operation that resulted in the apprehension of 40 fugitives. In addition to the arrests, marshal deputies also conducted 51 sex offender compliance checks, according to Agent Hernandez.

The report did not indicate which gangs were being investigated. However, criminal activity by the MS-13 group has been a focus of the Trump Administration and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Photo: Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals

In April, Governor Abbott upped the ante when he said Houston “will be hostile territory for gangs.”

“This wave of senseless violence cannot continue,” Governor Abbott said to the press at a news conference. “Government’s responsibility is to keep our citizens safe. Texas will take action and use all means to put an end to this lawlessness.”

The Governor promised state resources to:

– Establish a Tactical Operations Center to increase and organize operations around the clock.
– Provide $500,000 in funding from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to increase Texas Anti-Gang Center resources in Houston.
– Dispatch additional Texas Rangers and DPS Special Agents to support local police.
– Deploy increased technology, including air assets and patrol unit tracking, to improve timely collection and analysis of intelligence

– In October, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the International Association of Chiefs of Police that the DOJ plans on using “whatever laws we have” to get MS-13 members off the streets.

Homeland Security revealed that during the Fiscal Year 2017, HSI agents and Enforcement and Removal Operations officers arrested almost 5,000 gang members including 796 members of MS-13.

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