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More than 1,100 taken into custody for criminal activity

According to a report released on March 28, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took into custody more than 1,100 individuals who were accused of being involved in gang activities across the nation. Of the 1,133 people , more than 900 were individuals who were accused of being involved in criminal activities both in the U.S. and abroad.

Most of the arrests were made during an operation that was dubbed Project Shadowfire and which lasted about 5 weeks. Many of the arrests were made in Los Angeles and San Francisco while other major hot spots included Houston, Atlanta and San Juan. The alleged criminal activities ranged from sex and drug to human trafficking.

During the operation, more than 20 kilograms of narcotics, 150 firearms and more than $70,000 were seized. The report also stated that many of the individuals who were taken into custody were allegedly affiliated with well-known gangs, including Bloods, Surenos and MS-13 in addition to prison-based gangs.

A person who is handed drug charges could potentially face serious consequences that could include a prison sentence, fines and even deportation if not a citizen. As a result, obtaining the representation of a criminal defense attorney can be important. In many cases, the defense strategy could include a constitutional challenge to the search that resulted in the seizure of the drugs that were found. If successful, this could render that evidence being ruled inadmissible. In other situations, an attorney might attempt to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor that would provide for reduced penalties in exchange for the defendant entering a plea of guilty.

Source: ABC 7, "ICE Agents Make More Than 1,000 Gang-Related Arrests in National Operation", March 28, 2016

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