By Ivan Raconteur
HOWARD LAKE, MN A nationwide effort to crack down on gangs has led to 26 arrests in eight Minnesota cities including Howard Lake, according to the Star Tribune.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said Wednesday that the Minnesota arrests included nine gang members and 14 gang associates. Three other people were arrested for immigration violations.
The arrests were part of a national crackdown called “Project Big Freeze” that targeted gang members and illegal aliens with ties to criminal gangs in other countries
The operation took place between Jan. 17 and Jan 24.
ICE said 476 alleged gang members have been arrested in 83 cities across the US.
The arrests took place in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Farmington, Howard Lake, New Hope, Richfield, and Shakopee.
Those arrested came from Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Somalia, and other countries, according to ICE.
Of those arrested, 207 face prosecution for various state and federal crimes, including drug-dealing, arms smuggling, identity theft, and fraud. Others were arrested for immigration-related offenses.
Howard Lake Police Chief Tracy Vetruba said ICE did not coordinate with his department when making the arrests. He added that federal officials would not be required to notify local police departments.