Twenty-four were arrested Thursday under Operation Matador, the intelligence driven, unified effort to combat the proliferation of MS-13 and other transnational criminal gang activity in Long Island, the New York City metropolitan area and Hudson Valley. This brings the total arrested under this initiative to 475.
Operation Matador, operating under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transnational Organized Crime Initiative (DHS TOCI), was launched by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York along with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). This joint initiative is comprised of HSI special agents, ERO deportation officers and the ICE Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and state and local law enforcement partners to include Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) and the Hempstead Police Department. The DHS TOCI is responsible for identifying, interdicting and investigating a wide variety of transnational border crime with a concentration on MS-13 gang activity.
“Operation Matador sends a clear message to violent street gangs that there are consequences for their actions. Since this operation began last year, we have seen a decrease in the amount of violent crime directly related to MS-13 and other transnational gangs,” said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan. “That is a direct result of the strong partnerships between ICE Homeland Security Investigations, local law enforcement, and our community partners in support of a common goal: targeting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations. We will not rest until our communities are safe and these dangerous individuals are brought to justice.”
A total of 475 individuals were arrested during this ongoing enforcement effort, most of which were confirmed as gang members and affiliates. The most prominent gangs with arrests during this operation were MS-13 with 274 arrests and the 18th street gang with 15 arrests. This operation yielded 227 total criminal arrests and 248 administrative arrests.
Of the gang members arrested during this ongoing enforcement action, 80 had additional criminal histories, including prior convictions for assault and weapons charges. 5 are facing serious criminal charges.