Immigration officials arrest 46 gang members across N.J.

Immigration authorities arrested 46 gang members and associates across New Jersey as part of a statewide sweep, officials said today.

Since the multiagency operation — dubbed “Community Shield” — began in February 2005, more than 12,698 gang members have been arrested, said Harold Ort, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This latest sweep included 42 gang members and four associates from a range of countries, including the Philippines, Costa Rica and Guatemala, Ort said. Police said 33 members were in the country illegally and face deportation, while 15 face state charges, including aggravated assault and weapons charges.

Gang members from MS-13, Sureno 13 and the Bloods were among those arrested, Ort said.