SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday the results of recent enforcement actions targeting removable aliens who have been arrested for, or have pending charges or convictions, for crimes involving victims in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Montana.
“The aliens targeted during this operation preyed on women, children and men in our communities, committing serious crimes and, at times, repeatedly harming their victims,” said Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. “By focusing our efforts on abusers, we can prevent future victimization from occurring.”
During the enforcement action, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested 122 at-large individuals living illegally in the U.S., or who are removable from the U.S. due to their criminal histories. About 85 percent of those arrested by ICE on immigration charges also had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
Examples of recent arrests under the new initiative include:
- 28-year-old citizen of Mexico, arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah because of convictions for sex abuse of a child with a fifteen-year prison sentence. He has a previous conviction for spousal battery.
- 33-year-old citizen of Honduras in Salt Lake City, Utah, with convictions for distributing a controlled substance and reentry of removed alien.
- 41-year-old a citizen of Guatemala arrested by ERO Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service on a warrant for possession of a firearm by an illegal alien and aggravated assault – domestic violence and domestic violence in the presence of a child.
- 19-year-old citizen of Mexico, found in Las Vegas, Nevada with a conviction for attempted lewdness with a child under the age of 14.
- 42-year-old citizen of Mexico, found in Las Vegas, Nevada with a conviction for manslaughter with a firearm and served 14 years in prison.
- 37-year-old citizen of Laos, found in Ogden, Utah with a conviction for entice solicit seduce or lure a minor by internet or text and dealing in harmful material to a minor.
- 36 year-old citizen of Mexico, found in Las Vegas, Nevada with a conviction for attempt lewdness with a child under the age of 14.
- 28-year-old citizen of Honduras, found hiding out in Meridian, Idaho with a warrant for murder in Honduras.
ICE continues to target criminal aliens and other public safety and national security threats every day. ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE takes many factors into account when targeting and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history.
“Behind each one of these arrests is the story of a victim who has suffered abuse, battery upon spouse or sexual assault, among other heinous crimes,” said Wilcox. “By focusing our efforts on these abusers, we’re doing our part to help families, even during this pandemic.”
Victims of crime committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration are encouraged to contact ICE’s VOICE office if they need assistance. The VOICE office affords victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody, including the ability to get automated custody status information, releasable case history about the perpetrator, or having an ICE representative explain the immigration enforcement and removal process. The toll-free VOICE Hotline number is 1-855-48-VOICE.
ICE exercises all appropriate prosecutorial discretion when encountering the family members of arrest targets and evaluates each individual situation to determine the appropriate course of action. In according with ICE Directive 10076.1 Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs, ICE should exercise all appropriate prosecutorial discretion to minimize any effect that immigration enforcement may have on the willingness and ability of victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs to call police and pursue justice.
In FY 2019, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested individuals with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs.