52 arrested in DC area after nationwide ICE anti-gang operation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan, left, and Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, arrive to speak at a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan, left, and Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, arrive to speak at a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP) (AP/Charles Reed)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan, left, listens as Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan, left, listens as Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
FILE — In this Feb. 9, 2017, photo provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE agents at a home in Atlanta, during a targeted enforcement operation aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens. (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP)
FILE — In this Feb. 9, 2017, photo provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE agents at a home in Atlanta, during a targeted enforcement operation aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens. (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP) (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP)
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan, left, and Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, arrive to speak at a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan, left, listens as Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director Derek Benner, right, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Immigrant advocates on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, decried a series of arrests that federal deportation agents said aimed to round up criminals in Southern California but they believe mark a shift in enforcement under the Trump administration. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, to announce the results of a national operation targeting gang members and associates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
FILE — In this Feb. 9, 2017, photo provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE agents at a home in Atlanta, during a targeted enforcement operation aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens. (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP)

WASHINGTON — A recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement anti-gang operation resulted in over a thousand arrests nationwide — 52 of which were in the D.C. area, with 29 of those busted being from the infamous MS-13 gang.

ICE spokesperson Dani Bennett told WTOP Friday morning that there were 17 arrests in the D.C.-Virginia area by the Washington field office and 35 in Maryland by the Baltimore office.

Of the D.C.-Virginia arrests, 13 were MS-13 and 11 were scooped up in a Falls Church raid.

Sixteen of the Maryland arrests were MS-13.

Eleven members of MS-13 were arrested at a Falls Church residence on April 26 with the help of Fairfax County police.

Investigators had been watching the house, they said, after reports that it was allegedly being used for sex trafficking.

Two people in the home had outstanding deportation orders, officials said.

Nationwide, the operation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations targeted gang members and associates involved in such activity as drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling and sex trafficking, and murder and racketeering.

It netted a total of 1,378 arrested from March 26 to May 6 and brought in not only members of MS-13, but also members of the Bloods, Crips and Sureños gangs.

Of the total arrested, 1,095 were confirmed as gang members and affiliates; 933 were U.S. citizens and 445 were foreign nationals from 21 countries.

HSI and partner agencies seized 238 firearms, various drugs and $491,763 in cash.

“Gangs threaten the safety of our communities, not just in major metropolitan areas but in our suburbs and rural areas, too,” said Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, in a news release Thursday. “Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere.”

WTOP’s William Vitka contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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