Eighteen men have been arrested in the Twin Cities area during an operation targeting gang members, immigration authorities announced Thursday.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said the men were arrested during an operation which lasted a week and ended Friday.
ICE officials said in a news release that the operation targeted gang members and their associates who were engaged in alleged criminal activity. Fifteen of those arrested were members of the "Vatos Locos" street gang. Others are from the "Sureno-13" street gang.
Local law enforcement agencies helped ICE arrest the men, and some of them were charged with immigration violations and are awaiting deportation proceedings.
ICE officials said one of the men was being held in the Hennepin County jail on attempted murder charges.
Authorities said street gangs were becoming more active in Minnesota in smuggling and distributing narcotics, laundering illegal drug proceeds and other criminal activity.