Charges filed against 39 people tied to gangs in Houston community, US Attorney's Office says

Daniela Hurtado Image
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Houston gang violence: 39 people charged as part of city's initiative to combat crime, US Attorney's Office says
The arrests and charges against 39 people are part of a Houston initiative announced this time last year to combat violent crime.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At least 17 gang members were arrested within the last two weeks as part of a Houston initiative to combat violent crime.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, the United States Attorney's Office said 39 people are accused of being connected to organizations involved in large-scale drug trafficking and violent robberies.

The department added that many of the crimes dealt with the illegal possession or use of firearms.

The Department of Justice Criminal Division's Houston Violent Crime Initiative was announced last September, with Houston police Chief Troy Finner saying violent crime involving gangs had heightened.

READ MORE: Houston-area law enforcement getting 'first-of-its-kind' to combat rise in crime

The Department of Justice is stepping in to help Houston and Harris County authorities combat crime with a "first-of-its-kind" program.

The joint effort by local, state, and federal law enforcement had laws prosecuting gang members and associates in the city's southwest and southeast areas.

Some of the charges among those arrested include carjacking, controlled substances, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

Authorities said they were able to seize 79 firearms during the investigations and arrests, including three machine guns, a hand grenade, and body armor. Drugs were also found and included approximately 248 kilograms of meth, over 1.7 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and PCP.

Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Fred Milanowski said they have an intel center with 12 dedicated analysts from multiple agencies to determine where criminals are getting their guns.

"Violent crime driven by violent gangs - we're not going to stand for that anymore in this neighborhood, in this city," U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said during the press conference.

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