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Enforcement and Removal
04/11/2014

24 arrests in Missouri ICE operation targeting criminals, immigration fugitives

ST. LOUIS — As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing efforts to focus agency resources on the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 24 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and other immigration violators were arrested during an operation carried out last week.

The five-day operation, which concluded Friday, was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) as part of the agency's commitment to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators.

Of the individuals taken into custody, 15 were criminal aliens whose convictions include: sexual misconduct, felonious restraint, violating a protection order, felony driving under the influence causing bodily harm, battery, resisting arrest, criminal damage to property and illegal re-entry after deportation. The group also included an immigration fugitive who had outstanding orders of deportation and two previously deported aliens.

These arrests were made in the following counties: Champaign County Ill., McLean County Ill., Effingham County Ill., Jackson County Ill., St. Charles County Mo., New Madrid County Mo.

Those arrested during the operation include:

  • A 57-year-old U.S. permanent resident from India with convictions for sexual misconduct and felonious restraint. He was arrested April 11 and will remain in custody pending the outcome of his deportation proceedings.
  • A 42-year-old Guatemalan national with convictions for battery. He was arrested April 9 and will remain in custody pending the outcome of his deportation proceedings.
  • A 37-year-old Mexican national with convictions for felony driving under the influence and criminal damage to property. He was arrested April 10 and will remain in custody pending the outcome of his deportation proceedings.

"ERO strives to make our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By focusing our resources on criminal offenders, we immediately improve public safety in the area."

Following is the nationality breakdown of the 24 men arrested: Mexico (14), Guatemala (9) and India (1).

ERO Chicago received significant assistance during this operation from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Missouri Probation and Parole Department, St. Louis County Sheriff's Department, McLean County, Ill., Probation, Effingham County, Ill., Sheriff's Department and the police departments of Urbana and Rantoul, Ill.

In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Eighty-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.