ICE arresting a suspected gang member.
|Date||February 15-March 21, 2016|
|Location||California, Texas, Georgia & Puerto Rico, USA|
|Outcome||Successful project: 1,133 arrested, $70,000 and 20 kilos of narcotics seized.|
Project Shadowfire was an American police investigation in early 2016 that resulted in the arrest of 1,133 people, 915 of whom are suspected members of "multinational organized criminal gangs", involved in murder, racketeering, drug smuggling and human trafficking from Mexico and elsewhere. The majority of the arrests took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco in California; El Paso and Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. More than twenty kilos of narcotics, about $70,000, and 150 firearms were also seized.
Of the 1,133 arrested, 1,001 were charged with criminal offenses, and 132 were arrested for immigration violations. Over 900 of those arrested are believed to be members or associates of MS-13, Sureños, Norteños, Bloods and other prison gangs. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials confirmed that most of those arrested are American citizens, though 239 are foreign nationals from Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe.
According to Peter Edge of Homeland Security Investigations in an interview with ABC News: "What we are seeing is that the gangs are becoming a little bit more organized as gang members enter the United States, whether it’s legally or illegally, and they're doing a wide variety of recruiting... Our hope [is] that these criminal gang members will be processed through the judicial system, and that we will be ultimately able to deport those who are not citizens of this country."
Former ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña released the following statement concerning Project Shadowfire: "This operation is the latest example of ICE's ongoing efforts, begun more than a decade ago under Operation Community Shield, to target violent gang members and their associates, to eradicate the violence they inflict upon our communities and to stop the cash flow to transnational organized crime groups operating overseas."
- "More than 1,100 arrested in ICE operation targeting MS-13, other gangs". Fox News Latino. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
- "ICE arrests more than 1,100 in operation targeting gangs". US. Immigration & Customs Enforcement. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2016-03-31.