Fort Bend County’s anti-gang initiative yields 93 arrests, seizure of drugs, cash and firearms – Houston Chronicle

The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office led a seven-week zero-tolerance anti-gang operation with multiple law enforcement agencies in January and February 2022, called Operation MARGO.
A recent multi-agency, anti-gang initiative has yielded 93 gang-related arrests, and the seizure of illegal drugs, numerous firearms and cash, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office announced at a Tuesday news conference.
Dubbed “MARGO”, the seven-week operation was in effect during January and February and targeted eight locations throughout Fort Bend County.
The arrests include 28 wanted fugitives and 11 gang members. No names were shared. The operation did not result in the arrest members of MS-13, but the DA’s office believes that MS-13 are active in Fort Bend County.
Police seized 16 firearms, 23.27 pounds of illegal narcotics and $8,273 in allegedly illegal proceeds. The operation resulted in the execution of 44 warrants.
“Gangs have targeted our communities and we have targeted gang members for arrest and prosecution,” said DA Brian Middleton.
“Ninety-three arrests take a lot of effort and law enforcement worked tirelessly to make this operation a success,” said Special Crimes Chief Prosecutor Mark Hanna. “This type of coordinated effort makes it harder for street gangs to do business in Fort Bend County. And our goal is to put them out of business.”
The initiative focused on Fresno, Stafford, Katy, Missouri City, Rosenberg, Richmond, Mission Bend and Houston. The goal was to find street-level criminal activity, recognize gang members and create a database with criminal intelligence data.
There are indicators of gang affiliation, such as hand signs, bandannas, colors, graffiti, markings, tattoos, and jewelry. Middleton urged parents to watch for possible warning signs of gang involvement by observing changes in their children and monitoring their child’s social media pages.
“See what they’re doing on their social media pages, then you’ll see the hand signs, you’ll see the people they’re associated with, and you’ll see the hand signs on their pages,” Middleton said.
Middleton said MARGO was the latest in a series of efforts to reduce crime in Fort Bend County. He thanked the peace officers from the different agencies who worked in partnership with the DA’s office. The partner agencies included the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 3, Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 4, Department of Public Safety, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, Katy Police Department, Missouri City Police Department, Richmond Police Department, and the Rosenberg Police Department.
The DA’s office extended a special thank you to Chief Bobby Clark and the Community Volunteer Fire Department-Station 1 for the use of their facility during the operation.
“We will identify gang members and hold them accountable as organized criminal enterprises,” said Middleton. “We will fight to keep Fort Bend County safe.”
juhi.varma@hcnonline.com

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