The Oklahoman A joint federal and local task force arrested 27 suspected gang members and their associates in a four-day immigration sting in Oklahoma that ended Saturday, authorities said. Twenty-seven suspected gang members and their associates were among 46 people arrested in Oklahoma
in a four-day immigration sting that ended Saturday, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement
officials said.A news release issued by the agency said the 45 men and one woman are 18 to 50 years old, and most were arrested in the Oklahoma City
area. Others were arrested in Lexington
and Comanche County
. Agency spokesman Carl Rusnok
said names of individuals arrested on immigration complaints are not released because of U.S. Department of Homeland Security
privacy policies. Twelve of the arrestees are U.S.
citizens, 28 are from Mexico
, two are from El Salvador
, two are from Guatemala
and two are from Honduras, officials said. The U.S. citizens were all arrested on warrants or criminal charges, but the specific complaints and violations for the arrestees were not released. Rusnok said of the non-U.S. citizens taken into custody, three of the cases have been referred to the U.S. attorney’s office in Oklahoma City for prosecution on criminal illegal re-entry after deportation. If charged and convicted, they could face up to 20 years in federal prison. The rest of the arrestees are being detained on suspicion of being in the country illegally, Rusnok said. The sting also involved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the National Gang Unit, Oklahoma City police, Oklahoma County
sheriff’s office investigators and the FBI
. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are coordinating the detention and deportation of the arrestees who are here illegally. Four guns were seized during the operation, authorities said. The sting was part of an ongoing national effort targeting foreign-born gang members and their associates.