One THOUSAND gang members arrested as part of 'Project Wildfire'

  • Properties associated with 239 crime syndicates were stormed nationwide
  • 913 of those caught have been charged with crimes including murder 
  • Hoards of weapons, drugs and money were all seized by authorities 
  • Operation known as Project Wildfire ran from February 23 to March 31 
  • Nearly 200 foreign nationals were arrested during the operation  

By Wills Robinson For Dailymail.com

Published: 13:44 GMT, 9 April 2015 | Updated: 15:41 GMT, 9 April 2015

3

View
comments

Authorities forced alleged gang member to reveal their tattoos after they were arrested during a nationwide operation that saw more than 1,200 people detained.   

Teams from Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stormed properties associated with 239 crime syndicates following a six-week operation known as Project Wildfire.

Officials from 215 local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies seized hoards of weapons, drugs and cash at the addresses and at least 913 have already been charged with a range of crimes including rape, murder and sexual assault.

As they were booked into jail, some of the suspects were forced to take off their shirts and reveal their ink - many of which are believed to be tied to gangs.  

Detained: A gang member arrested in the raid shows off his head tattoo in Dallas, Texas (left), while another poses in Lubbock, Texas (right) 

Images released following the raids show tables covered in confiscated guns and defendants showing off their gang tattoos. 

The greatest activity took place in the San Juan, Dallas, El Paso, Los Angeles and Detroit. 

Most were U.S. citizens but 199 foreign nationals were also arrested from 18 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Of the individuals arrested, 976 were gang members and associates. 

Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents also arrested – or assisted in the arrest – of 231 other individuals on federal and/or state criminal violations and administrative immigration violations, for a total of 1,207 arrests. Of the total 1,207 arrested, 1,057 were males and 150 were females.

From those in crime syndicates 913 were charged with criminal offenses and 63 were arrested administratively for immigration violations; 650 had violent criminal histories, including 19 individuals wanted on active warrants for murder and 15 for rape or sexual assault; and 199 were foreign nationals, of which 151 were gang members and gang associates.

Suspect: A man shows off his ink before being booked into jail in Lubbock, Texas, following the nationwide raid 

Suspect: A man shows off his ink before being booked into jail in Lubbock, Texas, following the nationwide raid 

Identity: Two more suspects reveal their tattoos to the authorities in Dallas (left) and Denver, Colorado (right) 

Designs: A pair of alleged gang members pull up their shirts to show their artwork in San Antonio, Texas (left), and Denver, Colorado (right) 

Contraband: Weapons, drugs and money are laid out on a table in San Francisco following a raid on properties linked to gangs across the country that led to more than 1,200 arrests 

Contraband: Weapons, drugs and money are laid out on a table in San Francisco following a raid on properties linked to gangs across the country that led to more than 1,200 arrests 

Raids: Teams from Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stormed properties in cities including Los Angeles (pictured) associated with 239 crime syndicates following a six-week operation known as Project Wildfire

Raids: Teams from Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stormed properties in cities including Los Angeles (pictured) associated with 239 crime syndicates following a six-week operation known as Project Wildfire

Questioning: Members of a Homeland Security gang unit speak to an alleged gang member during a traffic stop in San Francisco, California

Questioning: Members of a Homeland Security gang unit speak to an alleged gang member during a traffic stop in San Francisco, California

Sarah R. Saldaña, the director of the ICE, said in a statement: 'Criminal gangs inflict violence and fear upon our communities, and without the attention of law enforcement, these groups can spread like a cancer.

'That’s why ICE works with law enforcement partners around the country to stamp out gang activity wherever it takes place.'

Homeland Security's Greg Mandoli told Fox News: 'This is where grassroots law enforcement starts. This is how we get a baseline read of what’s happening… it all builds on itself…this is what federal agencies, investigative agencies like HSI, are doing to target transnational criminality. 

'We’re looking to prevent, deter and protect communities. The public doesn't realize what’s happening in a federal investigative agency like HSI and the breath of the investigations that we’re doing. 

'So, with Project Wildfire, we’re looking to take ground information and feed them back into the collective pool... working with our local partners to identify community threats as we look to prevent, deter and protect the homeland.'  

BLOODS, CRIPS, MAFIA AND ARYAN RESISTANCE: THE VICIOUS GANGS TARGETED DURING THE RAIDS 

  • In Puerto Rico and central Florida, 46 members of the Zorrilla criminal organization were arrested for various charges of manufacturing and distributing narcotics, money laundering and other related criminal activity.
  • In Lubbock, Texas, HSI special agents and task force officers arrested 122 known or suspected gang members and associates from the Bloods, Crips Rolling 60s, Mexican Mafia, Sureños, West Texas, Raza Unida, Aryan Brotherhood, White Aryan Resistance, West Side, Gangster Disciples, Peckerwood, Texas Syndicate and West Texas Tango.
  • In the Detroit area, HSI special agents and task force officers arrested 89 gang members and associates with ties to gangs such as the Latin Counts, Folk Nation, Sureños and Atherton Terrace.
  • In the Chicago area, HSI special agents arrested 30 gang members and affiliates with ties to the Sureños 13, Latin Kings, La Raza, Conservative Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, 4 Corner Hustlers, Maniac Latin Disciples and the Vice Lords.
  • In California’s Imperial Valley, HSI special agents arrested 28 individuals, including 10 documented gang members of the Brole, North Side Centro, West Side Centro, South Side Centro and Pilgrim Street gangs.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 

Observing: Officers inspect an alleged gang member's tattoos in Dallas, Texas. The operation began on February 23 and ended on March 31 

Observing: Officers inspect an alleged gang member's tattoos in Dallas, Texas. The operation began on February 23 and ended on March 31 

Bodycam: Agents capture footage of an unidentified suspect during one of the raids 

Bodycam: Agents capture footage of an unidentified suspect during one of the raids 

Taken away: A member of the ICE task force arrests an alleged gang member in Los Angeles, California 

Taken away: A member of the ICE task force arrests an alleged gang member in Los Angeles, California 

Preparation: Agents gather outside a house in Detroit, Michigan, just moments before a raid 

Preparation: Agents gather outside a house in Detroit, Michigan, just moments before a raid 

Read more:

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

MOST READ NEWS

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Capitalbay. Capitalbay accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.
What's next
By Mathias Dillion 04/09/2015 14:41:00
View All

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS