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Nearly 200 Illegal Immigrants Arrested

Michael Kunzelman, AP, June 14

BOSTON — Nearly 200 illegal immigrants who were ordered deported for committing crimes were arrested during a six-day undercover sweep across New England, federal authorities said.

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Those arrested had served time in prison or jail for a wide range of crimes, including attempted murder, rape, child molestation and arson, authorities said.

Many illegal immigrants aren’t immediately deported after serving time because local officials fail to notify federal authorities of the convicts’ release.

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Jerry Seper, Washington Times, June 16

More than a dozen suspected members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, were arrested yesterday in New Jersey by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and local law-enforcement authorities in a pre-dawn raid.

ICE Special Agent Kyle Hutchins, who heads the agency’s Newark field office, said the suspected gang members — including the gang’s reputed New Jersey boss — were named on criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Newark. They were charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, the attempted transfer of false identification documents, and immigration violations.

The gang had operated out of the Elizabeth, N.J., area.

“Taking these individuals off the streets will make the neighborhoods of Elizabeth a safer place for everyone,” Mr. Hutchins said.

The arrests were the latest enforcement actions in ICE’s national anti-gang initiative known as “Operation Community Shield,” which has resulted in the arrest of more than 300 suspected MS-13 gang members nationwide since February.

In March, more than 100 suspected MS-13 members were arrested as part of the operation, including 25 in the Washington area and 10 in Baltimore. MS-13 members have been tied to killings, robberies, rapes, extortion and drug smuggling, including at least seven killings in Virginia and Maryland.

With as many as 20,000 gang members active nationally, MS-13 gangs have targeted civilians, rival gang members and those perceived as traitors. They also have issued directives to kill police officers.

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Original article

(Posted on June 16, 2005)

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