ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Twenty-eight people, who have either criminal records or an order to depart the country, were arrested during a four-day enforcement surge by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and other law enforcement partners.
Alberto Peña-Robledo, 56, a convicted child predator, was among those arrested in the operation that ended Aug. 26 in northern New Mexico. He is one of 11 criminal aliens in custody.
ICE officers and agents with the ICE-ERO Albuquerque and El Paso fugitive operations units worked in teams with other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers and agents from the ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations (OFO).
ICE agents arrested Peña-Robledo on Aug. 23 at his place of employment in Albuquerque. Although Peña-Robledo is a U.S. permanent resident, he is amenable to removal as an aggravated felon because of his previous criminal convictions. In 1993, he was convicted for criminal sexual contact with a minor, and in 2007, he was convicted for not registering as a sex offender. Peña-Robledo, a Mexican national, is in ICE custody and has been placed into removal proceedings.
"Arresting convicted criminals, such as sexual predators, and immigration fugitives is a priority for ICE-ERO whose mission includes ensuring public safety," said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, acting field office director for ICE-ERO in El Paso. "Working in a collaborative effort with our DHS partners is a force multiplier that has proven to be highly effective."
Herrera-Niles said arresting and removing criminal aliens in the El Paso area of responsibility is a continuous effort for ICE-ERO. Herrera-Niles oversees operations in west Texas and the State of New Mexico. Among the 11 criminal aliens arrested during this operation were individuals with convictions for crimes such as distributing marijuana, embezzlement, forgery, document fraud and illegal entry.
The individuals arrested were from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Cuba. All were adults, and ranged in age from 23 to 56. Of the 28 arrested, two are women.
ICE removed 148,717 criminal aliens from the United States so far this fiscal year, a record number. Of those, 8,619 were removed from El Paso.