Immigration sweep nets 37 in Northern Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Immigration sweep nets 37 in Northern Nevada

by F.T. Norton
ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com
F.T. Norton/Nevada Appeal
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Carson City deputies and federal immigration officers arrested 12 documented gang members and illegal immigrants during a two-day sweep in Carson City, Lyon and Douglas counties.

The arrests were made as part of an ongoing operation by Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s National Gang Unit called “Operation Community Shield.”

In the initiative, ICE partners with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to target the public safety threat posed by street gangs.

ICE received assistance with the Northern Nevada operation from the U.S Marshals Service; the sheriff’s offices in Carson City and Douglas and Lyon counties, state Parole and Probation, officers with the Departments of Alternative Sentencing in Carson City and Washoe County; and from the Regional Gang Unit comprised of officers from the Reno and Sparks police departments and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

About 25 officers were split into six teams and canvassed Carson City on Wednesday and Thursday with a list of 40 individuals whose legal status was questionable, said Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Humphrey.

“Originally we provided immigration with a list of people that were documented gang members and gang member associates and there was some question of whether they were here legally in the United States,” said Humphrey. “Immigration reviewed it to determine what the status was of those people.”

He said about 12 people were found to be illegal. For the remainder it was unclear, he said.

The goal, said Humphrey, was to find and interview everyone on the list.

In one instance officers found an individual from their list working at a Highway 50 East convenience store Thursday.

After questioning him, they were still unable to determine his status and left.

Further research revealed that the man was illegal, but when police returned to the convenience store, they found that the he had fled and left the store unattended. Officers were unable to locate him.

Deputies had to contact the owner to have another clerk come in.

Those taken into custody for being in the country illegally were arrested on administrative immigration violations and are being held in ICE custody and awaiting deportation proceedings.

Humphrey said five people already in custody in the Carson City Jail had immigration holds placed on them, and five others were arrested during the course of the operation on Carson City warrants.

According to ICE, among those arrested were people with prior convictions for assault, drug violations, burglary, arson, domestic violence and battery on a peace officer.

At the same time as the Carson City operation, operations were happening in Reno and Sparks.

Thirty-seven people were arrested in Northern Nevada.

“The vast majority of those taken into custody are from Mexico, but the targets also included gang members and gang associates from El Salvador and Nicaragua. ICE agents say those arrested are linked to eight different street gangs operating in the area, including the South Side Locotes, the Tokers and the Infamous Soldiers,” an ICE news release states.

“I am pleased with the results generated by our Special Operations Unit,” said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. “With the relationships that have been built, we hope to send a strong message that the law enforcement agencies working in all areas of Northern Nevada work together and share information for the greater public safety. It is the intention of the Carson City Sheriff to continue these efforts on a regular basis.”

To report suspicious activity, call ICE’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at: 1-866-347-2423 or visit http://www.ice.gov.