ICE targeted Glenwood in gang member round-up

Staff report

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said special agents were in the Roaring Fork Valley in March as part of a national project that resulted in the arrests of 976 gang members.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents worked with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Glenwood Springs Police Department as part of Project Wildfire, ICE said in a statement. The six-week operation resulted in arrests in 282 cities and towns across the U.S. The suspects were allegedly from 239 different gangs, the agency said.

Agents from Homeland Security Investigation were visible in the El Jebel City Market parking lot on the evenings of March 23 and 24, as were deputies from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Carl Rusnok, spokesman for ICE’s central region, said in an email that two arrests were made as part of Project Wildfire in Glenwood Springs. Elsewhere in Colorado, five arrests were made in Denver and six in Grand Junction, he wrote.

No arrests were made in El Jebel or the surrounding area, although agents were in the area, according to Rusnok. “They used the area for staging,” he wrote.

No information was available on the parties arrested in Glenwood Springs.

“Most of the individuals arrested during Project Wildfire were U.S. citizens, but 199 foreign nationals were also arrested, from 18 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean,” ICE said in its statement.

“Of the individuals arrested, 976 were gang members and associates. HSI agents also arrested — or assisted in the arrest — of 231 other individuals on federal and/or state criminal violations and administrative immigration violations, for a total of 1,207 arrests,” the agency said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.