SCV Sheriff’s, Immigration officials target known gang
More than 60 law enforcement personnel from the Santa
Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Detective Bureau, the City of Santa
Clarita/Sheriff's COBRA Unit and the Community Interaction Team (CIT), and the
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Community Oriented Policing Services
(COPS), joined in partnership with United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE), and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, to carry
out a targeted gang enforcement operation in Santa Clarita Wednesday
According to Sheriff’s Officials, the personnel hit the
streets in a pre-dawn operation which focused on 28 locations in the Canyon
Country and Newhall areas where active gang members are known to reside.
The operation, one of several carried out in the Santa
Clarita Valley over the past three months, was aimed at reducing gang crime and
violence and ridding the area of active gang members.
Yesterday's operation culminated in the detention of 21
known active foreign national gang members.
Four of those individuals were transported and booked at the
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on new criminal charges.
Fifteen others were transported to downtown Los
Angeles by ICE officials where they will face
The remaining two are being presented to the U.S.
Attorney's Office for prosecution on federal felony charges of re-entering
the country after deportation.
"These operations send a clear message to active gang
members in the Santa Clarita Valley that we are partnering with county, state,
and federal resources to keep our streets and communities safe," said
Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station. "We
will not stop our pursuit of anyone who is actively involved with a criminal
gang and is preying on members of our community. You can expect more of
these operations in the near future. Active gang members should get the
message and change their way of life or they can expect to hear from us during
other similar operations."
"The people targeted in today's joint gang
operation are career criminals who often prey on members of the immigrant
community," said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge for the ICE office
of investigations in Los Angeles.
"We want to send a clear message to foreign national gang members that ICE
intends to deal strongly with those who disregard our immigration laws and
place our neighborhoods at risk. ICE will continue to work closely with
its local law enforcement partners to promote public safety in our communities."
ICE's joint enforcement activities with the Sheriff’s
Department are part of the agency’s ongoing anti-gang initiative known as
Operation Community Shield. Through Operation Community Shield, launched
in 2005, ICE is using its immigration and customs authorities in a coordinated,
national campaign against criminal street gangs in the United
States. As part of the effort, ICE
partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to arrest,
prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members.
"I am very proud of the efforts of the Santa Clarita
Valley Sheriff Station's detective bureau for their amazing work in this crime
prevention effort. It is this type of organized and well-planned law
enforcement activity that will help keep our City safe and send a strong
message to criminals that they are not welcome in Santa Clarita,"
commented Mayor Bob Kellar.
LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich agreed.
“This successful joint operation is a testament to the
importance of the ICE program and reflects the superb coordination between
Federal agencies and the first-rate personnel of our Santa Clarita Valley
Sheriff's Station,” he said.