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Enforcement and Removal
12/23/2008

ICE arrests 110 Florida residents in targeted immigration fugitive operation

MIAMI - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that a five-day targeted fugitive enforcement operation last week in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa areas resulted in the arrest of 110 fugitive aliens and immigration violators.

During the operation, which concluded Friday, ICE officers arrested 81 immigration fugitives who ignored lawful orders of removal and went into hiding and 29 other immigration violators. Of the 110 arrested, 24 had criminal histories that spanned from aggravated assault, battery, marijuana possession, cocaine possession, heroin possession, trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting officer with violence, sexual battery, social security fraud, burglary, carrying concealed firearm, larceny, grand theft and lewd and lascivious assault on a child.

The breakdown of the arrests by area is as follows: 47 in Miami-Dade; 30 in Broward; 15 in Palm Beach; seven in Orlando and 11 in Tampa.

"ICE will continue to arrest and deport aliens who have ignored an immigration judge's order to leave the country," said Michael Rozos, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) in Florida. "While we are a welcoming country, we expect those wanting to immigrate here to do so in a safe, legal and orderly manner. We will conduct these targeted fugitive operations to ensure that removal orders are carried out and locate these immigration violators who potentially pose a threat to public safety. Those that want to avoid arrest should comply with the law."

Ninety-three individuals arrested remain in ICE custody and 17 were processed for removal and released under supervision as part of the Alternatives to Detention Program (ATD). In these cases, ICE officers exercised prosecutorial discretion by placing aliens with final orders of removal, who were verified to be sole caregivers or as having medical concerns, on orders of supervision.

Two examples of criminal aliens arrested during this targeted enforcement action are:

  • Carmen Rosa Milian, 59, a citizen of Peru, who was residing in Miami. She was arrested on Dec. 16, 2008, in Miami-Dade County, Fla. Milian entered the United States on July 6, 1994. In August 2002, she was convicted in Miami-Dade for possession of cocaine. She was placed into removal proceedings due to her criminal convictions and was ordered removed by an immigration judge on Sep. 18, 2008. Milian is being held in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
  • Kerby Nelson, 46, a citizen of Haiti, was arrested on Dec. 16, 2008, in Broward County, Fla. Nelson entered the United States on Jan. 5, 1981. In May 1986, he was convicted in Deerfield Beach for possession of cocaine and sentenced to 18 months probation. He was placed in removal proceedings due to his criminal convictions and was ordered removed on Jan. 25, 2005. Kerby Nelson is being held in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.

Those arrested during the operation come from countries around the globe including Guatemala, Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Moldova, Cuba, Bahamas, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Mexico, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Gambia.

ICE established the first Fugitive Operations Teams (FOT) in 2003 to dramatically expand the agency's efforts to locate arrest and remove fugitives from the United States. ICE's fugitive operations officers give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and community safety, including members of transnational street gangs, child sex offenders and aliens with prior convictions for violent crimes. They use intelligence-based information and leads to locate and arrest aliens who have been ordered to leave the country by an immigration judge, but have failed to comply.