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It's a story that began more than ten years ago…

In March 2003, the Homeland Security Act set into motion what would be the single-largest government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense. One of the agencies in the new Department of Homeland Security was the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, now known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.

ICE was granted a unique combination of civil and criminal authorities to better protect national security and public safety in answer to the tragic events on 9/11.

Leveraging those authorities, ICE has become a powerful and sophisticated federal law enforcement agency.

Throughout 2013, ICE looked back at its achievements and history through a series of stories, images and milestones. Each month focused on the events and accomplishments in one year starting with 2003.

Message From the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

It's a story that began more than ten years ago…

A little more than 10 years ago, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established as DHS' largest investigative agency and one of three DHS agencies charged with administering the nation's immigration system. ICE was created based on the recognition that global threats have become more dangerous, and a new approach was needed to ensure the security of the U.S. homeland and the American people.

Over the years, ICE has achieved truly impressive results in protecting our nation's borders and enhancing public safety. Today, ICE is more than 20,000 strong with a presence in all 50 states and 48 foreign countries. We are galvanized toward our mission – to promote homeland security and public safety through the enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

While this past decade has been one of enormous challenges, we've enjoyed tremendous growth and outstanding achievements in all areas of our broad and diverse portfolio.

Over the past decade, ICE has improved border security by increasing our presence on the southwest border and strengthening our relationships with our law enforcement partners. We have prioritized immigration enforcement by targeting, first and foremost, criminal aliens and those who pose a threat to the nation.

Most of today's crimes are transnational in nature. Through the Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy, we've adopted a more coordinated international approach to our investigations in various areas. This coordination allows us to focus on protecting our nation's children from sexual predators from around the globe through the criminal investigation and removal of sex offenders. Adopting a victim centered approach has led to the rescue of hundreds of children.

Today, we are stronger than we have ever been. Keeping up the momentum we've shown in our first ten years, I know we will continue to hone our skills, share our expertise and further our reputation as a preeminent U.S. federal law enforcement agency operating in the world today.

Looking Forward

In recognition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) 10 year anniversary in March 2013, we presented a series of stories, images and a timeline to highlight our accomplishments and give a broad look at our proud history, as well as to educate the American public about our agency.

Now, instead of looking back, we look forward. While ICE has considerably grown in our first 10 years, our agency continues to evolve and change with the times to address current threats and prepare for dangers on the horizon before they emerge.

We plan to keep up the momentum we've shown in our first decade as a federal law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting homeland security. We will continue to hone our skills, share our expertise and further our reputation as a preeminent U.S. federal law enforcement agency operating in the world today.

With more than 20,000 employees, a presence in all 50 states and 48 foreign countries, today, we are stronger than we have ever been.

Through our international and domestic offices, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat transnational crime, find and arrest child predators, repatriate individuals wanted by our foreign law enforcement partners and arrest and remove dangerous criminal aliens.

To accomplish this complex mission, we will continue to employ only the most qualified candidates – because every unit, office and individual in ICE is crucial to the agency's success.

ICE's three directorates will continue to propel our agency to greater success. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will continue conducting criminal investigations against transnational criminal organizations who threaten national security. Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will enforce the nation's immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. Management and Administration will continue to make the agency's mission possible by providing legal support and professional management, while helping to guide the dynamic growth and future of ICE.

We vow to continue our mission to protect the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

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Top 10 Images

The right rail shows a collection of photos that highlights the history of ICE's 10 years as a federal law enforcement agency. Each month features different photos from a year in ICE's history.

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Join ICE in looking back at the agency's achievements and history through a series of stories, images and milestones.

ICE's Top 10

Below are ICE's archived top 10. Visit our timeline for more detail.

December 10, 2013 – 10 Years and 10 Months

In recognition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) 10 year anniversary in March 2013, we presented a series of stories, images and a timeline to highlight our accomplishments and give a broad look at our proud history, as well as to educate the American public about our agency.

In this last month of the celebration, instead of looking back, we look forward. While ICE has considerably grown in our first 10 years, our agency continues to evolve and change with the times to address current threats and prepare for dangers on the horizon before they emerge.

We plan to keep up the momentum we've shown in our first decade as a federal law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting homeland security. We will continue to hone our skills, share our expertise and further our reputation as a preeminent U.S. federal law enforcement agency operating in the world today.

With more than 20,000 employees, a presence in all 50 states and 48 foreign countries, today, we are stronger than we have ever been.

Through our international and domestic offices, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to combat transnational crime, find and arrest child predators, repatriate individuals wanted by our foreign law enforcement partners and arrest and remove dangerous criminal aliens.

To accomplish this complex mission, we will continue to employ only the most qualified candidates – because every unit, office and individual in ICE is crucial to the agency's success.

ICE's three directorates will continue to propel our agency to greater success. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) will continue conducting criminal investigations against transnational criminal organizations who threaten national security. Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will enforce the nation's immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. Management and Administration will continue to make the agency's mission possible by providing legal support and professional management, while helping to guide the dynamic growth and future of ICE.

We vow to continue our mission to protect the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

November 4, 2013 – ICE's Top 10 Repatriations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) coordinates with state, local, federal, tribal and foreign law enforcement to promote goodwill with foreign governments and citizens. Returning a nation's looted cultural heritage or stolen artwork protects the world's cultural heritage and knowledge of past civilizations. The Smithsonian Institution's Museum Conservation Institute provides HSI special agents with on-site training on how to handle, store, photograph and authenticate cultural property and works of art. Since 2007, more than 6,600 artifacts have been returned to 24 countries.

Below are 10 of ICE's top repatriations.

ICE and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office return Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton to Mongolia

ICE and Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office return Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton to Mongolia5/6/2013

ICE returned a Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton, looted from the Gobi Desert and illegally smuggled into the United States, to the government of Mongolia May 6, during a repatriation ceremony at a Manhattan, N.Y., hotel. The Bataar was seized in New York by HSI special agents after it sold at a Manhattan auction for $1.05 million. The return of this cultural property to Mongolia was the culmination of an investigation led by HSI New York and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

 

ICE returns stolen 16th century tapestry to Spain

ICE returns stolen 16th century tapestry to Spain4/17/2013

ICE returned a 16th century tapestry, stolen in 1979 from a church, to the government of Spain April 17, at a repatriation ceremony at the Spanish ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C. The tapestry was seized by HSI special agents in Houston after it was sold at auction. The wool and silk tapestry was stolen in December 1979 from a national cathedral in Roda de Isábena, in the province of Huesca, Aragon, Spain. The tapestry depicts St. Ramon, the Virgin Mary with infant Jesus, Saint Vincent of Saragossa and Saint Valerius, and was used as an altar piece in the Romanesque cathedral. The tapestry was produced in the early 1500s and was part of the church's collection when the cathedral was declared a national monument by royal decree in 1924.

 

ICE returns stolen and looted archeological art and antiquities to Mexico

ICE returns stolen and looted archeological art and antiquities to Mexico10/25/2012

ICE returned more than 4,000 pieces of stolen and looted cultural artifacts to the government of Mexico at a repatriation ceremony Oct. 25, 2012, at the Consulate of Mexico in El Paso, Texas. The items were recovered in 11 separate investigations by HSI special agents. Among the archeological pieces returned to the people of Mexico were five pre-Columbian statues, more than 4,000 pre-Columbian artifacts and 26 pieces of pre-Columbian pottery, which date back more than 1,500 years.

 

ICE returns stolen and looted art and antiquities to Peru

ICE returns stolen and looted art and antiquities to Peru7/12/2012

ICE returned 14 stolen and looted cultural paintings and artifacts to the government of Peru at a repatriation ceremony at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., July 12, 2012. The items were recovered in five separate investigations by HSI special agents in New York; West Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Austin and Houston, Texas. Returned to the Peruvian people were nine religious paintings, a monstrance and four archaeological items that date back more than 2,000 years.

 

ICE officials return pre-Columbian artifacts to Panama

ICE officials return pre-Columbian artifacts to Panama4/27/2011

ICE repatriated 99 pre-Columbian artifacts seized as a result of operations by HSI Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., to Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, April 27, 2011. These items, previously imported into the United States, were discovered as part of an investigation that began in 1998, under the U.S. Customs Service, an ICE legacy agency. HSI special agents intercepted shipments of pre-Columbian artifacts destined for the United States addressed to a professor at a U.S. university. The professor and one other individual were indicted for conspiracy to transport, receive, possess, conceal and store stolen property though the charges were ultimately dismissed. The professor agreed to surrender 99 Panamanian pre-Columbian artifacts, valued at approximately $100,000, which he illegally imported into the United States from Panama as part of the plea agreement.

 

ICE returns stolen and looted art and antiquities to Italy

ICE returns stolen and looted art and antiquities to Italy4/26/2012

Seven stolen and looted objects of Italian cultural heritage were repatriated April 26, 2012, at a ceremony at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C. Two 2,000-year-old ceramic vessels, one Roman marble sculpture, one Renaissance painting and three music sheets from choir books dating back to the 13th century were recovered during four HSI investigations.

 

ICE and US attorney return stolen paintings

ICE and US attorney return stolen paintings9/22/2011

ICE returned the Julian Falat paintings "The Hunt" and "Off to the Hunt" during a ceremony at the Polish Consulate in New York, to the president of Poland, Sept. 22, 2011.The oil on panel paintings were stolen from the Polish National Museum in Warsaw, Poland, by the Nazis during World War II. In 2006, after the Polish government became aware that the paintings were going to be sold at auction in New York, it enlisted the assistance of HSI. Aug. 16, 2011, both "The Hunt" and "Off to the Hunt," also known as "Before Going Hunting in Rytwiany," were judicially forfeited for return to the government of the Republic of Poland.

 

ICE returns to French government stolen Degas painting missing for 37 years

ICE returns to French government stolen Degas painting missing for 37 years1/21/2011

ICE presented a painting by Edgar Degas, "Blanchisseuses Souffrant Des Dents," to the acting French Ambassador to the United States, Jan. 21, 2011. The painting, completed between 1870 to 1872, depicts two views of a laundress with a toothache. In 1961, the painting was loaned to the Musée Malraux in Le Havre in Normandy, France, but was stolen from the museum in December 1973. In October 2010, the Degas painting appeared in the Sotheby's New York catalogue for a pending auction of impressionist and modern art.

 

ICE closes case on missing sarcophagus, ancient coffin returned home to Egypt

ICE closes case on missing sarcophagus, ancient coffin returned home to Egypt3/10/2010

In a ceremony at the National Geographic Society, ICE returned an ancient sarcophagus to the Arab Republic of Egypt, March 10, 2010. The artifact was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) during routine inspections of goods coming into the United States and given to ICE, which investigated its path through the international art world. The coffin was intercepted by CBP at Miami International Airport in 2008 and initially scrutinized for agricultural concerns. ICE contacted the importer to establish whether the coffin had been exported legally from Egypt. The item was determined to be owned by Egypt through its cultural patrimony laws.

 

ICE returns artifacts and antiquities to Iraq Embassy

ICE returns artifacts and antiquities to Iraq Embassy2/25/2010

ICE presented six cultural items to the Ambassador of Iraq to the United States in a ceremony at the Iraq Embassy in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2010. The items ranged the timeline of Iraq's history, from its ancient past to its recent political history. The items returned included 8th-7th century B.C. Neo-Assyrian gold earrings; a Babylonian clay foundation cone from 2100 B.C.; a Sumerian bronze foundation cone and stone tablet with inscription from 2,500 B.C. to 1,800 B.C.; an Iraqi coin from 250 B.C.; and an AK-47 bearing Saddam Hussein's image.

 

October 22, 2013 – Top 10 Laws You Didn't Know ICE Enforces

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor uphold more than 400 laws. Together, they investigate potential threats to the homeland, enforce criminal and civil laws, and prosecute those who have violated the law. Through this team work and by conducting multi-faceted law enforcement operations, ICE protects the United States and its interests.

Below are 10 of the laws that you didn't know ICE enforced.

Child Exploitation

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 18 Section 2251. Prior to the creation of the agency in 2003, legacy U.S. Customs special agents investigated the disbursement of illegal child pornography that was often sent by mail or purchased overseas. With the advent of the Internet, the sharing and trading of child pornography now primarily occurs online. ICE also has the authority to investigate the illegal movement of people and goods across U.S. borders, and because the Internet is borderless, the sharing of contraband online is an international crime.

Read about some of ICE's most recent child exploitation cases.

Human Trafficking and the Importation of Aliens for an Immoral Purpose

Some of the human trafficking statutes that ICE enforces and upholds include United States Code Title 18 Chapter 77 and United States Code Title 18 Chapter 117. Further, ICE enforces and upholds Immigration and Nationality Act Section 278, 101(a)(43)(K)(iii), 101(a)(43)(N) and 237(a)(2)(H) and (F), which, among other things, forbids the importation of any alien for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose.

In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims will often pay to be illegally transported into the United States only to find themselves trapped by traffickers and forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts – often entry in the United States.

Read about some of ICE's most recent human trafficking cases.

Money Laundering

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 18 Chapter 95. ICE leads trade-based money laundering investigations. Trade-based money laundering is the process of disguising criminal proceeds through trade to legitimize their illicit origins. Trade-based money laundering refers to a variety of schemes used to disguise criminal proceeds. Some of the illegal activities to launder money involve moving illicit goods, falsifying trade documents and misrepresenting trade-related financial transactions.

Read about some of ICE's most recent financial crime cases.

Counter-Proliferation Investigations

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 18 Chapter 113B Section 2339B, Chapter 25 Section 473, Chapter 113 Section 2314 and Chapter 1 Section 21. Foreign adversaries are attempting to acquire U.S. technology by various means, both legal and illegal. Illicit transactions involving the United States' strategic technology not only jeopardizes its economic and national security but also endanger the safety of its citizens and soldiers. ICE prioritizes the prevention of illicit procurement networks, terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products, sensitive dual-use technology, weapons of mass destruction, or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.

Read about some of ICE's most recent counter-proliferation cases.

War Crimes

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 18 Chapter 118 Section 2441. This statute makes it illegal to commit a war crime. ICE has the authority to investigate situations where, during an armed conflict, a U.S. national or service member is a perpetrator or victim of war crimes.

Read about some of ICE's most recent human rights cases.

Extrajudicial Killings and Torture

ICE enforces and upholds Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a)(3)(E)(iii), 212(a)(3)(E)(iii)(I), 237(a)(4)(D) and United States Code Title 18 Chapter 133C Section 2340A. These statutes make it illegal to commit or attempt to commit torture. Enacted in 1994, this statute was used successfully to prosecute Chuckie Taylor, son of Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. Further, any alien who, outside the United States, has committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the commission of any act of torture or any extrajudicial killing is inadmissible.

Read about some of ICE's most recent torture cases.

Genocide

ICE enforces and upholds Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a)(3)(E)(ii), 237(a)(4)(D) and United States Code Title 18 Chapter 50A Section 1091. These statutes make it illegal in a time of peace or in a time of war to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. After the Holocaust, the international community created a system to keep those who commit terrible crimes on a massive scale to destroy national, ethnic, racial or religious groups accountable. Since 2007, acts of genocide are punishable, even if the conduct occurred outside of the United States.

Read about some of ICE's most recent genocide cases.

Anti-Dumping Laws

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 18 Section 542. Anti-dumping laws are those that prevent the import of products from another country at prices, which are less than the price charged in the United States or the actual price of production. ICE's Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Programs investigate schemes to evade the payment of duties imposed on certain imports, which helps domestic producers compete against foreign suppliers engaged in or benefiting from dumping and export subsidies. Enforcing anti-dumping laws is one way that ICE protects U.S. businesses from fraudulent trade practices.

Read about some of ICE's most recent anti-dumping cases.

Use and Recruitment of Child Soldiers

ICE enforces and upholds Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a)(3)(G) and United States Code Title 18 Chapter 118 Section 2442, which makes the use and recruitment of child soldiers illegal. ICE has the authority to investigate individuals who knowingly recruit, enlist or use children younger than 15 to participate actively in hostilities. Any alien who has engaged in the recruitment or use of child soldiers is inadmissible.

Read about some of ICE's most recent child soldier cases.

Lacey Act

ICE enforces and upholds United States Code Title 16 Chapter 53, also known as the Lacey Act. Protecting both animals and plants through the criminal and civil enforcement of laws, the Lacy Act bans buying, selling, transporting or trading wildlife and vegetation that have been illegally obtained.

Read about some of ICE's most recent Lacey Act cases.

September 5, 2013 – Top 10 Reasons to Work for ICE

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE must employ only the most qualified individuals.

Exciting occupations and career opportunities

As a member of the ICE team, you could be involved with:

  • Financial and trade investigations;
  • Cybercrimes;
  • Project analyses and management;
  • Litigating removal cases in immigration court;
  • Working with foreign authorities;
  • Intelligence gathering;
  • Investigations into arms and strategic technology violations;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Child exploitation;
  • Apprehension, processing, detention and deportation of illegal or criminal aliens; and,
  • Technical, professional, administrative, or management occupations directly supporting our law enforcement mission.

ICE supports veterans

ICE actively recruits qualified veterans for positions within the agency. We value the commitment, work ethic and experience that veterans bring to the job, as well as their specialized skills and talents. Currently, veterans compose nearly 30 percent of the ICE workforce.

Make a personal contribution to the security of America every day

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for enforcing the nation's immigration and customs laws. ICE has more than 20,000 employees working in more than 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world.

Strong retirement options

As an employee of the federal government, when you retire you can expect the Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)) and a defined benefit retirement plan through the Federal Employees Retirement System – all the while earning Social Security credit.

A balanced flexible work schedule and a balanced work life

As an employee of ICE, you may have any of the following family friendly flexibilities:

  • Flexible work schedules;
  • Personal leave days for vacation, illness and family care;
  • Ten paid holidays per year;
  • Transportation subsidies; and,
  • Telework.

Student loan repayment

The federal student loan repayment program, used at the discretion of the agency, permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for candidates or current employees.

Continued education opportunities

Employee development options include fully funded graduate degrees, leadership training and career development opportunities.

Competitive benefits and insurance options

As an employee of ICE, you may enjoy:

  • A wide selection of health insurance programs
  • Non-taxable Flexible Spending Accounts for out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses;
  • Life and long-term care insurance;
  • New employees to the federal government accrue four hours of annual leave per payday;
  • New employees to the federal government accrue four hours of sick leave per payday;
  • Ten paid holidays each year;
  • Employee assistance program; and,
  • Law enforcement availability pay.

A Robust and exciting work environment

Because ICE currently has more than 20,000 employees in 400 offices in all 50 states and 47 foreign countries, you could find yourself in any number of exciting duty locations.

Opportunities to recruit and employ a diverse workforce

ICE seeks out only the most qualified employees, who are sure to enhance its already strong workforce. In doing so, ICE takes time to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, to ensure that it always has the right person in the right job.

For more detailed Benefit information, you can access the federal employment information fact Sheet, or visit the Office of Personnel Management's website.

August 6, 2013 – ICE's Anti-Gang Achievements

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE coordinates with its federal, state, local and tribal partners to arrest and remove dangerous individuals during anti-gang operations and projects around the country.

Below are 10 of ICE's anti-gang achievements.

imagery from Operation Community Shield

Operation Community Shield

ICE conducted its largest ever nationwide gang surge Oct. 1, 2008, during Operation Community Shield.

In the course of the ICE-led operation, 1,759 gang members and associates, criminals and immigration violators were arrested.

Project Southern Tempest

imagery from Project Southern Tempestimagery from Project Southern Tempestimagery from Project Southern Tempest

ICE announced March 1, 2011, the arrests of 678 gang members and associates from 133 different gangs during Project Southern Tempest, an intensive law enforcement operation executed in 168 U.S. cities targeting gangs affiliated with drug trafficking organizations.

During this operation the ICE arrested the 20,000th gang member since inception of the anti-gang program in 2005.

imagery from Project Nefarious

Project Nefarious

The goal of Project Nefarious was to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute and remove gang members and associates affiliated with human smuggling and trafficking organizations.

ICE announced April 25, 2012, the arrests of 637 gang members and associates from 168 different gangs during Project Nefarious. The operation was executed in 150 U.S. cities and Honduras targeting transnational street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs involved with human smuggling and trafficking organizations.

imagery from Project Big Freeze

Project Big Freeze

Project Big Freeze was the largest nationwide ICE-led enforcement operation targeting transnational gangs with ties to drug trafficking organizations.

ICE announced Jan. 27, 2010, the arrests of 476 gang members, associates and other criminals.

Crystal Palace

imagery from Crystal Palace

Oct. 16 2012, the results of a long-term probe, which dismantled one of San Diego County's largest single-day weapons seizures, and drug and gun trafficking rings involving members of 13 different Southern California gangs, are announced. Special agents from ICE seized a cache of 60 weapons during the two-year investigation dubbed.

This case was unique because of the number and type of weapons seized. The items included Uzi submachine guns, AR-15 rifles, shotguns, high-powered rifles with optics and laser sighting systems, silencers and a law enforcement Taser.

Operation Barbed Wire

imagery from Operation Barbed Wireimagery from Operation Barbed Wire

The U.S. Department of the Treasury with the assistance of ICE designated the Latin American gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization Oct. 11, 2012. MS-13 was the first transnational criminal street gang designated as a transnational criminal organization.

MS-13 was designated for its involvement in serious criminal activities, including drug trafficking, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and violence, racketeering, and immigration offenses. MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal gangs in the world today. MS-13 members have been responsible for numerous killings within the United States.

imagery from Operation Red Rein

Operation Red Rein

The federal government indicted the majority of the 20th Street clique members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang Oct. 23, 2008.

Twenty two individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area were indicted on federal racketeering and other charges arising from their participation in the MS-13.

Operation Devil Horns

When the federal government indicted the majority of the 20th Street clique members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, Oct. 22, 2008, Danilo Velasquez, aka "Triste," assumed leadership.

Velasquez was sentenced to life in federal prison Feb. 15, 2012, on racketeering-related charges arising from Operation Devil Horns, a long-term probe led by ICE. Velasquez was described by a federal judge as a "vicious murderer."

Operation Red Tidings

imagery from Operation Red Tidings

Federal and local authorities announced the indictment May 3, 2012, of 19 members of a South San Francisco street gang on racketeering and other federal charges.

This indictment and the related arrests served as a warning to gangs about the consequences of using violence and fear to maintain control of their turf.

Three ICE special agents with were injured during the enforcement action. They were transported to a Bay area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The indictment was the culmination of investigations originally initiated by the Daly City Police Department and the South San Francisco Police Department following separate shootings in those communities. The Daly City shooting occurred Dec. 18, 2010, and left three people injured. Four days later, a shooting in South San Francisco killed three individuals and wounded three others.

Rancho San Pedro Busts

imagery from Rancho San Pedro Bustsimagery from Rancho San Pedro Busts

More than 1,300 federal and local law enforcement officers fanned out April 28, 2011, across the Los Angeles harbor area to arrest 80 alleged members and associates of the Rancho San Pedro gang. The charges stem from a sweeping investigation involving more than a dozen federal, state and local agencies. During the course of the investigation, informants and undercover officers purchased 90 firearms along with significant quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana. During the takedown, officers seized an additional 14 firearms and a silencer.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has filed a gang injunction and nuisance abatement actions against the gang. This is the first time a gang injunction and nuisance abatement lawsuits have been filed simultaneously in conjunction with the takedown of a major Southern California street gang.

July 2, 2013 – Top 10 High Profile Removals

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE removes individuals wanted by its foreign law enforcement partners and conducts multi-faceted federal law enforcement operations.

Below are ICE's top 10 high profile removals.

John Demjanjuk, a former Nazi death camp guard and a resident of Seven Hills, Ohio, was removed by ICE to Germany May 12, 2009. Demjanjuk was removed through a court order of removal obtained by the Department of Justice. March 10, 2009, a German judge issued an order directing that Demjanjuk, 89, be arrested on suspicion of assisting in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor extermination center in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. In addition to serving at Sobibor, Demjanjuk served the SS as an armed guard of civilian prisoners in Germany at the Nazi-operated Flossenbürg concentration camp in Germany and at Majdanek concentration camp and the Trawniki training and forced labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

George Saigbe Boley, 62, formerly of Hilton, N.Y., was the leader of the Liberian Peace Council that committed human rights abuses during the Liberian civil war in the 1990s. He was deported to Monrovia, Liberia, March 30, 2012. Boley was found by an immigration judge Feb. 6, 2012, to be removable from the United States. This was the first removal order obtained by ICE under the authorities of the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008, which added the recruitment and use of child soldiers as a ground of inadmissibility to and deportability from the U.S.

Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, 50, an alleged human rights violator, wanted by Rwandan authorities on charges of crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide, was deported to Rwanda. Mudahinyuka arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, Jan. 28, 2011, He was wanted on an international arrest warrant. Upon arrival in Kigali, Mudahinyuka was turned over to the custody of the Rwandan National Police to face charges of genocide and war crimes.

Josias Kumpf, 83, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who settled in Racine, Wis., after World War II and acquired U.S citizenship, was removed to Austria March 19, 2009. He participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution during World War II. Kumpf served as an armed SS Death's Head guard at the Nazi-run Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany and at the Trawniki training and forced labor camp in Poland. During his service at Trawniki, he participated in a mass shooting in which 8,000 men, women and children were murdered in a single day, Nov. 3, 1943.

ICE carried out the removal of suspected human rights violator Marko Boskic to Bosnia and Herzegovina April 27, 2010. He was turned over to authorities in Sarajevo to face war crimes charges. Boskic admitted his direct participation in the killing of unarmed victims during the 1991-1995 Yugoslavian civil war. He was assigned to the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a unit that was involved in the murder of at least 1,200 unarmed prisoners of war at Branjevo Farm near Srebrenica in 1995. This was part of a larger genocidal campaign in which approximately 7,000-8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. The crimes at Srebrenica are the only court-designated genocide to occur in Europe since World War II.

Giuseppe Baldinucci, 64, was returned to his native Italy and turned over to Italian authorities Sept. 11, 2008. Baldinucci's outstanding Italian arrest warrant stems from the assistance he rendered to the then fugitive Giovanni Brusca, a well-known member of the Corleone mafia family. Some of the crimes the Italians attributed to Brusca include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi gallery in Florence, the strangling of an 11-year old boy and the murder of the Italian anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone.

Pedro Pimentel Rios, 54, a Santa Ana, Calif., maintenance worker, was wanted in his native country of Guatemala on criminal charges for his role in the Dos Erres massacre. A former member of the Guatemalan army, whom witnesses say participated in a massacre there three decades ago, which claimed at least 162 lives, was deported to his native country July 12, 2011. Once he arrived in Guatemala he was immediately turned over to Guatemalan law enforcement officials.

Pedro Pimentel Rios, a Santa Ana, Calif., resident wanted in his native country of Guatemala on criminal charges for his role in the Dos Erres massacre - Deported July 12, 2011Jose Mauricio Huezo-Ortega, a Salvadoran man wanted in his native country for sexually assaulting five minor children who were in his care at a children's home he managed in El Salvador -€“ Deported on Feb. 11, 2013

A Salvadoran man was returned to his native country Feb. 11, 2013, by ERO to face charges for sexually assaulting five minor children, who were in his care at a children's home he managed in El Salvador. Jose Mauricio Huezo-Ortega, 37, was arrested Sept. 14, 2012, at his residence in Falls Church, Va., by ERO Washington's fugitive operations team. Following his arrest, he was placed in immigration removal proceedings and subsequently on Dec. 28, 2012, a U.S. immigration judge ordered Huezo removed from the United States.

ICE removed two men with ties to terrorism, one an admitted member of a terrorist group and one a member of outlawed militant organization, to their native Pakistan. The first, Khamal Muhammad, 23, a San Francisco Bay area resident, was an admitted member of Harakat ul-Mujahidin, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization in Pakistan. The second individual removed, Hamid Sheikh, 41, a Philadelphia resident, was convicted of making false statements to federal agents regarding the whereabouts of a member of Sipah-e-Mohammed Pakistan, a militant organization that was involved in massacres and targeted killings.

ICE removed Majid Al-Massari, 35, a native and citizen of Saudi Arabia belonging to an undesignated terrorist organization. Al-Massari was ordered removed June 30, 2005, and was removed Jan. 29, 2007. At the time of his arrest, Al-Massari was a Seattle area computer security specialist using his cyber skills to engage in terrorist activities. He purposely used his computer and communications skills to advance the terrorist goals of the Committee for Defense of Legitimate Rights and incite hatred against other groups of people. Al-Massari moderated an Internet chatroom for members of the group and posted Al Qaeda's weekly magazine at his site.

June 5, 2013 – ICE's Top Onscreen Moments

Television and movies are full of depictions of law enforcement agencies in action. While not everything you see is accurate, positive onscreen depictions of law enforcement agencies can go a long way in helping raise the public profile of that agency. The viewership for a primetime TV show can receive more than 10 times the viewership of a news program. While U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not yet a household name, there are more and more instances of ICE onscreen.

ICE's Top Onscreen Moments

Below are 10 examples of ICE on TV and in the movies.


Graceland

GRACELAND, premiering June 6 on USA Network, is a fictional TV series about a group of roommates who are actually undercover agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Human Trafficking

The 2005 made-for-TV movie Human Trafficking, starring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland, highlighted ICE's role in combating human trafficking. The main protagonist is a dedicated ICE special agent, who is devoted to bringing human traffickers to justice.

Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force

Highlighting high-risk fugitives being investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and ICE, this ongoing reality series, which started in 2008, showcased ICE's ability to investigate, locate and ultimately remove alien criminal fugitives.

When the series first aired ICE was not the primary agency. As the series progressed, viewers came to love the chemistry between the marshals and ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers.

To Catch A Smuggler

Stationed at John F. Kennedy International Airport, HSI special agents crack down on criminals attempting to smuggle illegal goods and drugs into the United States.

This reality series, which started in 2011, was the first time the public saw HSI special agents actually interrogate suspects and attempt control deliveries.

Border Wars

Focusing on ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), National Geographic's series Border Wars started in 2010.

The reality series highlighted ICE's and CBP's efforts to combat drugs, arms smuggling, human smuggling and illegal border crossings.

Border Wars showed the ERO fugitive operations teams, a dive team, a special response team, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force and the tunnel task force.

Extreme Smuggling

The 2013 Discovery Channel reality TV miniseries highlighted some of ICE's largest investigations with surveillance footage, evidence, crime photos and interviews.

Homeland Security USA

The TV show Homeland Security USA was the first time that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was featured in a reality TV series.

A 2009 episode, featuring intellectual property rights violations, highlighted ICE's continuing mission to combat intellectual property theft.

End of Watch

In this fictional movie, after meeting a gang member named Big Evil, a police officer decides to monitor his activities when he uncovers a vast human trafficking ring. However, ICE special agents arrive and tell the police officers to "lay low" due to possible reprisals.

Chicago Fire

This fictional TV series follows a group of the firefighters and paramedics working at the Chicago Fire Department. ICE was featured in one episode in the series' first season. In that episode, a trailer filled with illegal aliens is left locked under a bridge. All died but one 15-year-old girl. Chicago firemen and ICE helped get her to back to her family.

Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O is a remake of the 1960's classic fictional TV series, which follows an elite Hawaiian law enforcement team as they crack tough cases. ICE is highlighted in season two, episode eight, when an HSI special agent is found dead inside of a crashed plane.

 

This posting is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as an express or implied endorsement of the product or any non-federal entity affiliated with the production.

May 7, 2013 – Top 10 Things Law Enforcement Says About ICE

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE conducts multi-faceted federal law enforcement operations and repatriates individuals wanted by its foreign law enforcement partners.

Below are some of the sentiments expressed about ICE by a number of its law enforcement partners from around the globe.

"Mr. Morton was the one who coordinated with police from eight countries to deliver one of the most powerful blows in narcotics trafficking history. Thank you very much." — Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

"I would like to congratulate and thank the authorities of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their continual support and professional work." — Guatemalan Consul General in Chicago Gustavo A. Lopez

"ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations assets assigned to the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force have been invaluable." — Supervisory Inspector Billy Holmes, U.S. Marshals Service, Florida and Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force, Orlando, Fla.

"I commend ICE agents for their work. Their diligent efforts kept this heroin off our streets and led to the successful prosecution of drug dealers." — U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Kerry Harvey

"I commend the investigators from Homeland Security Investigations who have led Operation Sunflower. They are making our communities safer for our children." — U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin B. Wagner

"We always hear about the coordination between federal and local law enforcement, but we don't often have the opportunity to see it in action. This suspect's capture is a phenomenal example of how personal relationships pay off. When we called HSI and asked for assistance, they didn't ask 'what for,' all they said is 'what can we do?'" — Redondo Beach Police Chief Joe Leonardi

"Teamwork between law enforcement agencies is vital to efficient and effective criminal investigations. ...This is a great example of how cooperation can lead to arrests and prosecution. Thank you again to your agency and the individual agents involved in the case." — Virginia Chief of Police David M. Rohrer, Fairfax County

"The city of South San Francisco wishes to thank HSI for its assistance in the investigation and arrest of the 19 members of the criminal street gang responsible for many gang-related crimes, including a triple homicide in December 2010. HSI's collaboration with the South San Francisco Police Department was instrumental in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. This investigation underscores what positive outcomes can happen when local law enforcement works in collaboration with our partners in the federal system." — South San Francisco Police Chief Michael Massoni

"The Baker County Sheriff's Office believes in four core values; they are integrity, professionalism, care and courtesy. These values are part of us and are reflected in our work. During our day-to-day activities with ICE we have come to realize that they too share our core values. We enjoy a superb relationship (with) the staff of both the Jacksonville and the Orlando offices. We feel a "kindred spirit" with the ICE staff and strive to accomplish the mission of both agencies. These comments are heartfelt by me and shred by the men and women of the Baker County Sheriff's Office. We look forward to a continued partnership." — Baker County Sheriff Joey B. Dobson, Florida

"We applaud our partners at ICE for their worldwide work in identifying victims of child sexual exploitation and for helping to remove these children from extremely dangerous situations. We thank Director Morton and everyone at ICE for their strong commitment to rescuing the most vulnerable of victims." — John Ryan, CEO for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

April 1, 2013 – Top 10 ICE Offices Around the Globe

All of ICE's locations are unique, and so is the work that ICE's officers and special agents do every day. ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) helps protect the United States and its interests by conducting multi-faceted, international law enforcement operations and safely repatriating individuals wanted by our foreign law enforcement partners. Through its international and domestic offices, ICE works with its law enforcement partners to combat a wide range of criminal activity and as well as to repatriate criminal aliens to their country of origin. Below are 10 ICE offices from around the globe.

  • Oahu, Hawaii (HSI and ERO offices) – HSI's Hawaii Camp H. M. Smith and ERO's Honolulu field office are located on Oahu, the third largest Hawaiian island, which is home to the majority of Hawaii's population. The island also features the Pearl Harbor memorials.
  • Rome, Italy (ERO and HSI offices) – Rome is a historical powerhouse, which features the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the Colosseum, the Piazza Venezia, the Roman Forum, Trajan's Forum and Market, the Arch of Constantine, the Flavian Palace, Circus Maximus, the Golden House of Nero, Trajan's baths, the Pantheon, the Largo di Torre Argentina, the Baths of Caracalla, the tomb of Cecilia Metella, the Villa dei Quintili, and stretches of Roman aqueduct.
  • Jerusalem, Israel (HSI office) – The capital city of Israel, Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel. A holy city to three religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (ERO office) – Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. Guaynabo is home to the ruins of Caparra, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and the Guánica State Forest, a small dry forest reserve, the largest remaining tract of tropical dry coastal forest in the world, and designated an international Biosphere Reserve.
  • Miami, Florida (HSI and ERO offices) – Miami is located 20 miles from Fort Lauderdale and 156 miles from Key West. Due to being sandwiched in by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Everglades wetland area to the west, the Miami metropolitan area is a lengthy 110 miles north to south, but never more than 20 miles east to west.
  • Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (ERO office) – Saint Thomas is home to the Virgin Islands National Park, which covers 60% of the island's territory.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (HSI office) – Aside from being ICE's southernmost office, this coastal city is the capital of the Argentine Republic. The name, Buenos Aires, means fair winds or literally good air in Spanish.
  • Frankfurt, Germany (ERO and HSI office) – Located in the largest country in Central Europe, Frankfurt has no shortage of museums (at least 20), so history buffs would feel right at home. Home of the European Central Bank and the German Stock Exchange, this ancient city is widely known as the financial capital of Europe.
  • Santa Ana, California (ERO office) – Just 38 miles from Hollywood, 28 miles from Long Beach, and less than an hour to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, Santa Ana is centrally located in one of the continental United States largest and most varied states.
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (HSI office) – The federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is home to the Petronas Towers.

March 14, 2013 – ICE's Top 10 Milestones

  • November 2002 – Homeland Security Act of 2002 signed
  • March 2003 – U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially begins operations
  • March 2003 – Michael J. Garcia is nominated as the assistant secretary for Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • January 2006 – Julie L. Myers is appointed assistant secretary for Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • March 2007 – Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement renamed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • July 2008 – National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center opens in Virginia
  • November 2008 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement opens new headquarters
  • May 2009 – John T. Morton is appointed assistant secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • June 2010 – Inside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the two largest directorates are renamed. Detention and Removal Operations is renamed Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of Investigations is renamed Homeland Security Investigations.
  • March 2013 – 10th anniversary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recognized by President Barack Obama

 

Top 10 Images

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