Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mexican gang members arrested in Chicago suburbs face deportation


Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Aurora Police Department arrested seven gang members last night in a joint operation targeting violent street gangs. All those arrested are illegal aliens from Mexico who face deportation.

One of the gang members arrested last night, 18-year-old Manuel Parra-Torres, was found to have a shotgun and shells, ammunition, and a police scanner in his Aurora residence. He will be presented to the U.S Attorney’s office to faces criminal charges of illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

Last night’s arrests were made by the ATF West Suburban Gang Violence Task Force, which combats the spread of gangs and gang-related violence, and seeks to protect public safety by disrupting violent street gangs in the western Chicago suburbs.

ICE agents participate on this task force as part of “Operation Community Shield,” a comprehensive national initiative launched by ICE in February 2005 to dismantle violent street gangs with foreign-born members. Since its inception, Operation Community Shield has resulted in arresting more than 3,400 gang members nationwide, which represent 370 gangs. ICE agents in Chicago arrested more than 175 of these gang members.

All the aliens arrested during last night’s enforcement action are Mexican nationals and are documented members of the Latin Kings and Insane Deuces street gangs. All have past criminal records, which include convictions for voluntary manslaughter, burglary, drunken driving and illegally possessing a firearm. Five are being held in ICE custody pending their deportation. Two others will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s office for possible criminal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, and an illegal alien possessing a firearm; they face deportation upon their release.

“The lawlessness that these violent gangs propagate presents a grave threat to public safety,” said ICE Special Agent-in-Charge Elissa A. Brown. “ICE is proud to be a member of this task force. We will use our unique law enforcement authorities to arrest, and ultimately deport, foreign-born gang members who threaten our communities.”

Those arrested include: Braulio Gutierrez-Montes, 18; Carlos Perez-Monarrez, 27; Juan Ibarra-Garcia, 35; Ricardo Herrera, 21; Luis Alberto Parra-Torres, 18; Manuel Parra-Torres, 18; and Armando Rodriguez, 27.

"Combating gang violence and removing gang members from the communities they terrorize is the paramount mission of ATF in the Chicago area,” said Andrew Traver, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Field Division of ATF. “In concert with our partners — ICE and the Aurora Police Department — we will not relent until our neighborhoods are free of this menace.”

Aurora Chief of Police William Powell had this to say: “The targeting of the illegal acts of street gang members is the primary focus of every Aurora Police Officer and these types of continuing operations with our federal partners is a primary way of addressing these concerns. We've made a promise to the community to keep the heat on gang members. It's a promise we intend to keep.”



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