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Organization: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station
Date: November 19, 2008
Operation Community Shield Hits SCV Gangs
Pre-dawn Operation Targets Active SCV Gang Members
    Commit Crime? Not in the Santa Clarita Valley: More than 60 law enforcement personnel from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Detective Bureau, the City of Santa Clarita/Sheriff's COBRA Unit and the Community Interaction Team (CIT), and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), joined in partnership with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, to carry out a targeted gang enforcement operation in Santa Clarita this morning.
    The personnel hit the streets in a pre-dawn operation which focused on 28 locations in the Canyon Country and Newhall areas where active gang members are known to reside. The operation, one of many carried out in the Santa Clarita Valley over the past three months, was aimed at reducing gang crime and violence and ridding the area of active gang members who are intent on doing wrong and jeopardizing the safety of our community. Today's operation culminated in the detention of 21 known active foreign national gang members. Four of those individuals were transported and booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on new criminal charges. Fifteen others were transported to downtown Los Angeles by ICE officials where they will face immigration proceedings. The remaining two are being presented to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution on federal felony charges of re-entering the country after deportation.
    "These operations send a clear message to active gang members in the Santa Clarita Valley that we are partnering with county, state, and federal resources to keep our streets and communities safe," said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station. "We will not stop our pursuit of anyone who is actively involved with a criminal gang and is preying on members of our community. You can expect more of these operations in the near future. Active gang members should get the message and change their way of life or they can expect to hear from us during other similar operations!"
    "The people targeted in today's joint gang operation are career criminals who often prey on members of the immigrant community," said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in Los Angeles. "We want to send a clear message to foreign national gang members that ICE intends to deal strongly with those who disregard our immigration laws and place our neighborhoods at risk. ICE will continue to work closely with its local law enforcement partners to promote public safety in our communities."
    ICE's joint enforcement activities with the Sheriff’s Department are part of the agency’s ongoing anti-gang initiative known as Operation Community Shield. Through Operation Community Shield, launched in 2005, ICE is using its powerful immigration and customs authorities in a coordinated, national campaign against criminal street gangs in the United States. As part of the effort, ICE partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to arrest, prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members.
    "I am very proud of the efforts of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's detective bureau for their amazing work in this crime prevention effort. It is this type of organized and well-planned law enforcement activity that will help keep our City safe and send a strong message to criminals that they are not welcome in Santa Clarita," commented Mayor Bob Kellar.
    "This successful joint operation is a testament to the importance of the ICE program and reflects the superb coordination between Federal agencies and the first-rate personnel of our Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
    The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information available at this time.

    If You See Something, Say Something! Report non-emergency crime anonymously by visiting the following link: Crime Tips or calling (661) 284-2-TIP / (661) 284-2847.
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