Local News

Federal Authorities Announce Gang Arrests In Raleigh

Posted March 10, 2006 9:26 a.m. EST

— More than 300 gang members nationwide have been arrested as part of "Operation Community Shield." Nineteen of those arrests were made in Wake County.

Federal authorities said the 375 arrests were part of a comprehensive initiative launched by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roughly one year ago to disrupt and dismantle transnational, violent street gangs.

Operation Community Shield represents the first time the federal government has used immigration and customs authorities in a combined, national campaign against criminal street gangs in the United States.

On Feb. 28, ICE agents worked with Fuquay-Varina police to arrest Jose Carlos Peralta-Morales, who was allegedly seen beating an individual in the head with an aluminum baseball bat in a Wal-Mart store. Authorities later found that Peralta-Morales had previously been deported in May 2005 and had been convicted of robbery / accessory after the fact in connection with an incident in which gang members broke into and robbed the house of a North Carolina state representative.

Federal authorities teamed up with its law enforcement partners to arrest gang members across the country such as Dallas, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Miami.