US, Central American Agencies Arrest Hundreds in Gang Crackdown

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 04:17 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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More than 200 alleged transnational criminal street gang members and associates have been arrested in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras during a recent operation carried out by U.S. and Central American law-enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced.

The operation, carried out between May 20 and July 29, was spearheaded by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officials in in the United States and in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala in an effort to combat transnational gang activity in Central America, Fox News Latino reported.

The goal of Operation CAGE (Central American Gang Enforcement) was "to collaboratively locate and arrest gang members and associates engaged in transnational crimes," said HSI Executive Associate Director James A. Dinkins.

"We are committed to working with our foreign law enforcement counterparts on an international level to address gang violence, to protect national security and to ensure public safety in our neighborhoods and the neighborhoods of our friends south of the U.S. border,." he said.

Of the 207 gang members or associates arrested, 64 had "violent criminal histories," with 17 wanted for murder and one for rape, according to ICE.

Arrests during Operation CAGE included the following individuals:

*Angel Roberto Interiano-Calderon, aka El Capo, 29, a Salvadoran national and member of MS-13 gang arrested in San Salvador on aggravated homicide, gang affiliation and kidnapping conspiracy charges.

*Nery Leonel Reyes Carranza, 34, a Guatemalan national and member of the 18th Street gang was arrested in Guatemala City on extortion charges. The enforcement action that targeted Reyes also targeted other co-conspirators operating within the Pavoncito prison, who were responsible for extorting from civilians in Guatemala and abroad by threats of violence. Also seized were numerous cell phones directly linked to extortion cases.

*Adonias Joel Martinez aka Scarface and Cara Quemada, 31, a Honduran national and member of the 18th Street gang, was arrested in Tegucigalpa for charges including the murder of a police officer and illegal possession of firearms.

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