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Child Exploitation

ICE agents arrest 54 Miami area criminals

MIAMI - Fifty-four Miami area criminals are now off the streets following a targeted enforcement operation headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.

The operation, which began last week and culminated yesterday, yielded the arrests of criminals with egregious backgrounds including lewd & lascivious molestation on a minor; aggravated child abuse; kidnapping; attempted murder with a firearm; illegal drug trafficking; organized fraud; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and armed robbery.

Approximately 29 of those arrested are lawful permanent residents of the United States; however, their criminal backgrounds make them amenable for removal. Their cases will be presented before an immigration judge who may revoke their lawful status and order them deported from the United States. The remaining individuals were identified as immigration violators. They too will go before an immigration judge.

"ICE will continue utilizing its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami. "Criminals in Miami should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

Among those arrested was Lenard Castro, a sexual predator, who is a citizen of Honduras. Castro was convicted in Miami-Dade County for the offenses of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child 12-16 and sexual battery. Castro was among the ten sexual predators arrested during this operation. He, like the other 53 arrested, will remain in ICE custody awaiting the outcome of their cases.

Those arrested represent 18 different countries including Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Bahamas, Mexico, El Salvador, France, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Guyana.