Federal agents arrest 47 in New England gang sweep

Posted Aug. 20, 2010, at 5:18 p.m.

BOSTON, Mass. — Federal immigration officials say a three-month operation in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island has led to the arrest 47 of people suspected of being gang members or having ties to gangs.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Harold Ort said Friday that many of the suspects had histories of violent crimes including attempted murder, carjacking, assault and battery with dangerous weapons, assault, rape and possession of firearms.

The operation targeted foreigners and those born abroad. They will appear before immigration judges, but their criminal status renders them removable from the country within 10 business days.

They include residents of Boston, Chelsea, Dartmouth, East Boston, Fitchburg, Leominster, Lynn, New Bedford, Randolph and Springfield, all in Massachusetts. Others were detained in Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I., as well as Portland and Westbrook, Maine.

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