Michael Johnson Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Packaged marijuana was seized as part Project Shadowfire.
Operation Community Shield is a global initiative in which HSI collaborates with federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement partners to combat the growth and proliferation of transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States and abroad. Through its domestic and international Operation Community Shield task forces, HSI leverages its worldwide presence and expansive statutory and civil enforcement authorities to mitigate the threats posed by these global networks, often through the tracing and seizing of cash, weapons and other illicit proceeds.
Partnerships with state, local, federal and international law enforcement agencies are critical to the success of HSI gang enforcement operations. Law enforcement partners provide actionable intelligence which is critical in the targeting of gangs and their membership for enforcement actions. HSI special agents use intelligence gathered from surge operations to pursue complex criminal enterprise investigations and federal prosecutions.
As part of Operation Community Shield, HSI has effected more than 4,300 criminal arrests and nearly 3,000 civil immigration arrests of MS-13 leaders, members and associates, including criminal
arrests for Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organizations (RICO), Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) and gang conspiracy violations investigated by HSI Baltimore, HSI DC, HSI Charlotte, HSI New York, HSI Long Island, HSI Newark, HSI Boston, HSI San Francisco, HSI San Jose, HSI Los Angeles, HSI Detroit, HSI Nashville, HSI Houston, and our state and local law enforcement partners.
Michael Johnson Photo/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Several firearms were seized in the crackdown.
In October 2012, HSI worked with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to designate MS-13, the first designation of a transnational criminal street gang. As a result of the designation, any property or property interests in the U.S ., or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which MS-13 has an interest, are blocked.
HSI’s National Gang Unit
HSI’s National Gang Unit oversees HSI’s expansive transnational gang portfolio and enables special agents to bring the fight to these criminal enterprises through the development of uniform enforcement and intelligence-sharing strategies.
Contributed Photo/Courtesy ICE: An HSI Special Agent inspects an arrested individual’s tattoos for signs of gang affiliation.
Recent NGU-led operations have included: Southern Tempest in 2011, targeting gangs affiliated with drug trafficking; Project Nefarious in 2012, targeting gangs involved in human smuggling and
trafficking; Project Southbound in 2014, targeting the Sureños, the fasting growing transnational gang in the U.S., Project Wildfire in 2015, and Project Shadowfire in 2016.
To report suspicious activity call ICE’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2- ICE or visit www.ice.gov.