LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A nationwide crackdown on at-large criminal aliens and other "public safety threats" resulted in over 200 arrests in the Los Angeles area, federal investigators said Monday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took part last week in Operation Cross Check, which targeted criminals in six Southern California counties, inluding Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside, according to an ICE spokesperson.
The Los Angeles area led the nation in the number of arrests, which officials say topped over 2,000 people nationwide. More than half have felony convictions, including voluntary manslaughter, child pornography, robbery, kidnapping and rape, ICE officials said.
Nearly two-thirds of the foreign nationals taken into custody locally had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as child molestation, grand theft and firearms violations, while 14 of those arrested had ties to street gangs, according to officials.
The "vast majority" of suspects, 167 in all, arrested in the Southland were originally from Mexico, but a total of 18 countries in all were represented, including Peru, Egypt, Armenia and South Korea, officials said.
Among those arrested during the operation was a 26-year-old Mexican national Sureño gang member taken into custody Tuesday near his home in Pomona who authorities say has a criminal history dating back eight years, including prior convictions for robbery, willful discharge of a firearm and false impersonation.
The unidentified man, who authorities say has been deported "multiple times," faces prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office on felony re-entry after deportation, a violation which carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The operation began March 1 and concluded late Thursday, officials said.
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