LOVELAND, Colo. - Eighteen illegal aliens were arrested Wednesday morning following an administrative search warrant that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents executed at a concrete plant here. Larimer County Sheriff's Office assisted ICE with this operation; and the Air Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided air support.
The 18 men were administratively arrested by ICE July 16 at Colorado Precast Concrete Inc., located at 1820 E. Highway 402 in Loveland, Colo., for being in the United States illegally. One is from El Salvador; the rest are from Mexico.
According to its website, Colorado Precast manufactures pre-cast concrete forms for various industrial construction projects. The company fully cooperated with ICE during the operation; no criminal charges are anticipated against the company.
All 18 aliens will be processed, which includes in-depth interviews and fingerprinting. Then they'll be booked into Park County Jail to await return to their countries of origin, or a hearing before a federal immigration judge who will decide their immigration cases.
"ICE worksite enforcement operations like this help maintain the integrity of the immigration system," said Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Denver. "When supported by the evidence, ICE also actively pursues criminal charges against employers who knowing hire illegal aliens." Copp oversees a four-state area which includes: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
All ICE operations are targeted based on specific leads received from various sources.
In fiscal year 2007, ICE secured more than $30 million in criminal fines, restitutions, and civil judgments in worksite enforcement cases. ICE arrested 863 people in criminal cases and made more than 4,000 administrative arrests. That is a tenfold increase over just five years before.
In fiscal year 2008 through May, ICE made more than 850 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations. Of the 850 individuals criminally arrested, 75 are owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees facing charges including harboring or knowingly hiring illegal aliens. The remaining 775 workers criminally arrested are facing charges including aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud. ICE has also made more than 2,900 administrative arrests for immigration violations during worksite enforcement operations.