Police: Three gang members taken off streets

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County police last week assisted a federal law enforcement agency in arresting two members of the 18th Street Gang, and a third member was arrested during a routine traffic stop.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said the department's Gang Task Force Unit assisted the Gang Enforcement Unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the arrests of Ivan Santos-Ortiz, 22, aka "El Triste," and Omar Romero-Tavera, 26, aka "Toro."

Alejandro Rodriguez-Garcia, 20, aka "Tecolote," was pulled over Dec. 6 on a traffic violation and taken into custody when police learned that a felony warrant had been issued for his arrest, Moloney said.

Rodriguez-Garcia is detained in the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where ICE has placed a hold on his release, Moloney said.

Santos-Ortiz and Romero-Tavera were taken by ICE agents at the time of their arrest, Moloney said.

Moloney said Gwinnett's task force in cooperation with ICE's gang unit has arrested 44 gang members in the last 16 months, Moloney said.

Not all of the offenders are illegal, but ICE has 12 inmates who are incarcerated at the detention center processed for removal, Moloney explained.

Working with this government agency has been the best way for the department to "combat gangs and violent illegal aliens," he said.

"We have an excellent working relationship with ICE," Moloney said. "These guys have been working really hard. They deport a lot of violent illegal aliens.

"Members from gangs such as 18th Street, Brown Side Locos and Malditos 13 have been arrested and processed for removal. For the Gwinnett County Police Department, the common denominators in all of these crimes are that these offenders have committed violent crimes," Moloney said.