ICE partners with law enforcement agencies across the country to target what it calls the significant public safety threat posed by transnational street gangs.
Greg Palmore: "This has been a wide ranging operation that has not only targeted the local Houston area, but it reached as far south as the cities of Beaumont and Corpus Christi."
Greg Palmore is with the Department of Homeland Security. He says those in custody are linked to at least 14-street gangs, including MS-13, Surenos Trece, Aryan Brotherhood, Latin Kings, Houstone and Bloods and Crips to name a few.
"Those are positive identifications, either through their associations or their gang tattoos, and 60 of the 116 are being charged with criminal violations. 13 of the individuals were found to have previously been removed from the United States, and have re-entered. The remaining individuals have not been found directly linked to gangs, however they have known associations."
Palmore saysÎ¾ ICE's Operation Community Shield is a nationwide and powerful immigration and customs tool that targets criminal gangs in the United States.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.