ROSWELL, N.M. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) agents and other law enforcement partners arrested 19 people, including seven with criminal records, as part of a four-day enforcement surge.
The operation, which ran Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, took place in the communities of Roswell, Carlsbad and Hobbs in southeastern New Mexico. It was supported by ICE officers and agents with the ERO Albuquerque and El Paso fugitive operations units, who worked in teams with other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers and agents from the ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations (OFO).
The criminal aliens in custody have convictions that include: possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana; aiding and abetting aliens to defraud the United States; aggravated driving while intoxicated; damage to property; and shoplifting.
Others arrested include immigration fugitives, or individuals with an order to depart the country, and individuals who had been previously deported.
"Arresting criminal and fugitive aliens is a positive step in ensuring public safety for our communities. ICE ERO El Paso will continue to conduct enforcement operations to make New Mexico and west Texas a safer place to live," said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, acting field office director for ICE ERO in El Paso.
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 New Mexico.
All of the 19 individuals arrested were from Mexico, with the exception of one Canadian. Agents arrested 18 adults and placed a 16-year-old girl with relatives. The oldest person arrested is 53 years old. Of the 19 arrested, six are females.
ICE removed 148,717 criminal aliens from the United States so far this fiscal year, a record number.