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Public Safety

Drug Gang Crackdown Leads To 45 Arrests In SD

A nationwide crackdown on drug gangs led to 45 arrests in San Diego County, federal authorities said today.

During "Project Southern Tempest," 678 gang members and associates working for 133 criminal groups were arrested, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Among those arrested over the past two months were 37 men and eight women in the San Diego area, ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack said.

Twenty-seven suspects face state charges on drug-related allegations, auto theft and parole violations, and two face federal immigration charges, Mack said. The rest were not U.S. citizens and are expected to be deported.

The crackdown was "the largest-ever ICE-led gang enforcement operation targeting gangs with ties to drug-trafficking organizations," ICE Director John Morton said.

"Through gang enforcement operations like 'Project Southern Tempest' and 'Project Big Freeze' last year, ICE will continue to disrupt and dismantle these transnational gangs and rid our streets not only of drug dealers, but the violence associated with the drug trade," Morton said.