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Crackdown on violence, gangs nets 41 arrests in Fargo area

FARGO — A crackdown on violent crime and gang activity resulted in 41 arrests last month in the Fargo-Moorhead area, according to federal officials.

It's the third year such a crackdown has taken place, with the aim of disrupting gang networks and curbing violent crime. During the crackdown, officers seized one gun, two stolen vehicles, 149 grams of illegal drugs and $8,872 in illicit funds, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.

Among the 41 arrested were 25 gang members or associates who were arrested for various crimes, including carrying concealed weapons, robbery, burglary and sale of methamphetamines, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Another 16 arrested were targeted because of their violent crimes, including possession of a firearm as a felon, assault on police officers, sex offenses and homicide, the Marshals Service said.

The 41 arrested included:

• Miguel Cooley Sr., 44, was arrested Sept. 24 and charged with murder in a drive-by shooting outside the McDonald's on Main Avenue in Fargo.

• David Roman-Ramirez, 41, was arrested Sept. 5 in New Rockford, N.D., on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender. Roman is accused of living there for several months without notifying officials as the law requires.

• Robert Peightal, 23, was arrested Sept. 8 after a foot chase in south Fargo. He was wanted for armed robbery after a man with him during the alleged robbery was stabbed to death in Fargo.

Dubbed "Operation Damage Control," the crackdown was led by the Marshals Service's High Plains Fugitive Task Force with help from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies.

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