(WFIE) - Suspected gang members are rounded up in southwestern Indiana and most now face deportation.
Federal Immigration agents joined local police agencies to arrest 14 foreign-born suspects described as violent gang members.
The 14 men were taken into custody over the last two days, and most are from the Jasper and Evansville areas. Federal agents say they're extremely dangerous and had the weapons to prove it.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Gail Montenegro says, "We use our unique authority to actually remove these individuals from the community and from the United States."
Two weeks ago near our sister station in the Richmond, Virginia area Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested several men. These busts dubbed 'Operation Community Shield' is an on-going effort between ICE, Homeland Security Investigations and local law enforcement partners throughout the country.
Montenegro says, "They have the on the ground gang intelligence about the threats in their communities. We partner with them and identify individuals we believe are here illegally."
The 14 men were arrested in Jasper, Huntingburg and Evansville over the two day operation.
ICE agents say all the men are members or associates of three different violent street gangs, Zoe Pound, SUR-13 and MS-13, stretching across international borders.
Nine suspects are from El Salvador, three from Mexico, one from Honduras and another from Haiti.
Montenegro says, "MS-13 is a notoriously violent gang and as part of the operation, during the arrests, we also seized several semi-automatic weapons as well as two machetes."
Agents also seized two semi-automatic hand guns, each with two magazines of ammunition and 300 other rounds of ammo.
Montenegro says, "They will be processed and placed into deportation proceedings. In most cases they will have an opportunity to present their case in front of a federal immigration judge."
ICE officials say many of those arrested have criminal histories in addition to their immigration violations including drug dealing, sexual battery and aggravated assault with a weapon.
At least a dozen face deportation, the other two are being held in the Dubois County Jail and facing local charges.
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