The state’s largest gang arrest continues as Federal state and local law enforcement have seized more than a $1 million in cocaine, cash and guns. Suspects are still being rounded up while some have fled.FBI Special Agent in Charge, Dave Thomas says this kind of widespread gang infiltration begins with the most vulnerable part of the population.
“Children at a very young age are affiliating with gangs and starting to wear the dress and starting to go out and deal drugs,” said Thomas. We have to be able to do something to stop that early on.
“If not, it’s going to be a continuing problem.”
The drugs are linked back to two Mexican cartels, says U.S. Attorney Walter Wilkins, who has worked closely with the US-Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as “ICE.”
“We arrested eleven individuals that were here in the country illegally from Mexico who have direct ties to the Sinaloa cartels and the Los Zetas in Mexico,” he said.
“When you have individuals who are unlawfully in the United States, ICE is there to be able to verify their illegal status and to check database(s) and it just assists in the investigation overall.”
Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says they have taken hundred of people who were dealing drugs that came from Mexico to the Midlands. “That is a major impact on the cocaine, marijuana drugs flowing through our area. We know that these were coming out of Mexico coming through Atlanta and Charlotte into the Richland-Lexington County area,” said Metts.
The U.S. attorney says this kind of operation will be seen statewide. The American Gang involved in the Folk Nation. is one of the most influential in the U.S.