Last week, I reported that Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers had decapitated the brutal El Salvadoran gang MS13 in Southern California after they arrested more than 40 members using racketeering statutes.

This week, they followed it up with a series of raids that brought in 188 illegal immigrants, most of whom were connected with crime in this region.

Agents arrested 188 people in an operation targeting “at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives,” according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nearly 90% — 169 — of those arrested in the operation, which ended Wednesday, had prior convictions, officials said. Those arrested included nationals from 11 countries. The majority, 146 people, are from Mexico. Others are nationals of El Salvador, Armenia, Honduras, Thailand, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia and the Philippines, according to ICE.

Among them was a 29-year-old Salvadoran national who was deported in 2013 after serving a nine-year prison term for rape and who returned to the United States illegally, ICE said in a statement. Also detained were a previously deported 51-year-old from Mexico convicted of cocaine trafficking, a 47-year-old from Mexico with prior convictions for felony assault and another conviction for battery, and a 26-year-old Salvadoran national who is a registered sex offender, according to ICE.

In fact, about 90% of those arrested during these raids had prior criminal convictions. The immigrants came from a number of different nations.

Los Angeles County had the most arrests with 93, which included 25 people arrested in the San Fernando Valley and eight people arrested in Long Beach. One of those arrested in Long Beach was a 32-year-old Mexican national with convictions for child molestation who is a registered sex offender.

That was followed by Riverside County with 26, Orange County with 23, San Bernardino County with 21, Ventura County with 14 and Santa Barbara County with 11, according to ICE.

The vast majority of those arrested in the operation were from Mexico — 146 — but they also came from countries that included Russia, Armenia, Thailand, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia and Guatemala, according to an ICE statement. Eleven women were among those arrested.

At least eight of the individuals arrested during the enforcement action now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. ICE officials highlighted the public safety approach when setting arrest priorities.

“Operations like this are emblematic of the vital work ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers do every day seeking to locate, arrest, and ultimately deport at-large convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” said David Marin, field office director for ERO in Los Angeles. “By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone.”

Apprehensions at the Mexican border have plummeted by nearly 70% when compared with 2017 levels.