One crime they did not mention is Human Trafficking. Street gangs make tons of money in Human Trafficking and Prostitution. A great piece of Law Enforcement work nonetheless. (MGJ)
By Meghan Youker
OMAHA (KPTM) – Federal agents team up with Omaha police to haul in nearly 70 guns and bust three-dozen alleged gang members and their associates. The 14-month-long investigation targeted members of the Hispanic street gang known as the Surenos.
22 handguns, 14 assault rifles, 16 shotguns and 17 other rifles, including a Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle, are now out of the hands of criminals. “The removal of these weapons from the streets makes everyone safer and demonstrates that we will not tolerate criminals who provide the illegal firearms that reek so much havoc in our community,” said Chief Eric Buske of the Omaha Police Department.
A joint effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Omaha Police Department resulted in the arrest Tuesday of 36 people known to law enforcement as members or associates of the Sureno street gang. All but five were in the U.S. illegally. “They’ve committed a lot of violent acts in Omaha alone, but across the country and in Mexico, they’re involved in drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, you name the criminal act and they’ve probably touched it in some way,” said William Wallrapp, ICE resident agent-in-charge.
Court documents show a confidential informant working with federal agents bought drugs, guns and ammunition from suspects, mostly in homes and parking lots outside businesses in south Omaha. “During the course of virtually every transaction, the informant told the seller that the guns were destined for Mexico’s violent drug cartels,” said Claude Arnold, regional ICE special agent-in-charge.
Guns that are now evidence against alleged members of the Hispanic gang, who police say have been active in Omaha since the mid 90s. “There are certain cliques of this gang that I believe we have disseminated,” Wallrapp said. “The effect that it’s had on this particular gang, they’re going to be quiet for quite a while,” added ATF special agent Paul White.
Federal agents believe most of the recovered guns are stolen. At this point, they’re still trying to trace them and find their rightful owners. Ballistics testing is also underway to see if any of the guns can be tied to a specific crime.
Many of the suspects have been convicted of past crimes including burglary, assault and drug charges. Now 20 have been charged or indicted at either the state or federal level on drug and weapons charges. The other 16 are being held on immigrations violations.