Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2007

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Over 100 Arrests in Effort to Disrupt Neighborhood Gangs and their Criminal Activity

Washington, D.C. - Today the FBI culminated a targeted, two-week nationwide initiative involving federal, state and local law enforcement to disrupt neighborhood gangs and their criminal activity. This effort is directed to address the ongoing threat of violent crime and drug trafficking across cites of all sizes in the U.S. The result was a total of 108 federal arrests and 47 state arrests across twelve FBI Field Offices, including El Paso, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, San Juan, San Antonio, New Haven, Cleveland, Omaha, San Diego, Sacramento and Charlotte. The majority of these individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and various weapons violations.

"People should not have to live in fear of gang members and the violence they perpetrate," said Assistant Director Chip Burrus, FBI Criminal Investigative Division. "We will continue to work with our partners in federal, state and local law enforcement to aggressively address this threat through our Safe Streets Task Forces. This approach creates a 'force multiplier' effect to investigate and eradicate violent street gangs and their criminal activity. Our joint efforts have helped to return some measure of safety and security to our neighborhoods."

"Law enforcement agencies at all levels of government are determined to work together to combat the increasing problem of drug trafficking and violent crime by street gangs," said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "I'm proud of these efforts by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and apprehend these defendants. Our prosecutors will continue to assist through prosecution in this comprehensive, national effort at reducing violent crime and making our streets safer."

As of March 2007, the FBI operates over 160 Task Forces in its 56 field offices, including 134 SSTFs focused on violent gangs and over 30 SSTFs focused on violent crime. These task forces are comprised of more than 2,300 local, state, and federal investigators representing more than 500 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. Participating agencies benefit through the sharing of resources, manpower, gang intelligence and information. In addition, this allows for the prosecution of gangs and their membership through federal prosecutions and for severe sentences and penalties for the entire gang. It also enables the entire criminal enterprise to be dismantled or disrupted, instead of the prosecution of a few low level members.

These investigative efforts were coordinated through the Safe Streets and Gang Unit and included the close cooperation and support of the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); U.S. Marshals Service; Odessa Police Department; Ector County Sheriff's Office; Michigan State Police; Detroit Police Department; St. Louis County Police Department; Galveston Police Department; Police of Puerto Rico; Guayama Municipal Police; Austin Police Department; Hartford Police Department; Connecticut State Police; Meriden Police Department; Waterbury Police Department; Mansfield Police Department; Richland County Sheriff's Office; St. Clair Shores Police Department; Nebraska State Police; Bellevue Police Department; San Diego Police Department; Escondido Police Department; Orange County District Attorney's Office; Yuba City Police Department and Charlotte - Mecklenburg Police Department.

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