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Miami gang members busted in south florida probe

Posted on August 02, 2009 3:00 AM EST

Law enforcement officers from North Miami Beach along with federal agents arrested 53 people in a South Florida gang sweep. Law enforcement officials claim that the arrests dealt a significant blow to gangs across Miami and South Florida. The multi-agency operation led by the North Miami Beach Police Department and federal law enforcement officers arrested dozens of gang members for numerous drug offenses, firearm charges and various immigration violations. "We have made an impact," said Rafael P. Hernandez, North Miami Beach police chief. "The gang members were ranging from low-level street sellers to some high-time drug suppliers." Miami Criminal Attorneys will tell you that the amount of gang activity has significantly increased over the past few years.

Operation Dead End occurred as a result of a gang related slaying of Miami police officer James Walker by a gang member back in 2008. Operation Dead End came at the end of a fifteen month investigation into gang related activity in the Miami and South Florida Area. The investigation involved eight gangs from Plantation to South Miami. Federal prosecutors have indicted thirteen alleged gang members with charges ranging from drug offenses to firearm offenses. State prosecutors have filed charges against 26 gang members for drug sales and illegal firearm possession.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jeff Sloman, explained that, "These charges can carry up to life imprisonment." Chief assistant at the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, Jose Arroyo stated, "Violent criminal street gangs in South Florida will not be tolerated." Evidence recovered during the arrests included 118 grams of crack cocaine, 80 grams of powder cocaine, 180 grams of marijuana, assorted other narcotics and several firearms.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Officials) also made arrests for various immigration violations and are seeking deportation proceedings against 5 individuals. Immigration officials are concerned about the growing number of foreign nationals involved in gang related violence and are therefore working with police to assist with the problem. "If we come across an illegal alien, who is part of gang, that is our highest priority," said Special Agent Mangione, head of the local ICE unit.

State wide prosecutors are continuing to investigate gangs that operate in the North Miami Beach area. The gangs being investigated are the Victory Park Zoes, One Way and Young Head Busters. Some members of those gangs were arrested during the sweep.

53 People Arrested in South Florida Gang Probe, Miami Herald, August 1, 2009
Categories: Gangs