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Enforcement and Removal
10/18/2010

ICE arrests 20 criminals in international INTERPOL operation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton and INTERPOL Washington Director Timothy A. Williams announced that the first-ever joint operation, called "Operation FAR AWAY," has been very successful, resulting in a total of 20 arrests of international fugitives in the United States.

"Operation FAR AWAY" is an intelligence-driven operation designed to target, locate and arrest criminal aliens believed to be in hiding in the United States and in other Western Hemisphere countries.  It began Sept. 1 and will extend until Oct. 31, 2010, due to the high number of arrests.  The INTERPOL member countries participating in the operation include: Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Netherland Antilles, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador and the United States.

Of the 20 arrests made in the United States, eight of them were for homicide crimes; two were for crimes against children; three were for robbery; and seven were for other crimes, including human smuggling. Arrests in the United States were made by the ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

"This operation has been so successful, with the help of our INTERPOL partners, that we have decided to extend it," said Jim Chaparro, ICE Executive Associate Director of ERO. "Operation FAR AWAY enhances public safety in the United States and with our partner nations."

"I am very pleased with the outcome of the operation to date.  It is another fine example of what can be accomplished when agencies partner and share resources to further combat transnational crimes," stated Timothy A. Williams, INTERPOL Washington Director. "I look forward to continuing the high level of cooperation and collaboration with ICE ERO, and I extend my gratitude to the leadership at ICE ERO for providing appropriate resources to ensure this operation is a success."

Some examples of the fugitives that this operation has taken into custody:

  • ICE ERO arrested in Miami a citizen of Honduras, in a joint operation with the FBI, the Hollywood, Fla., Police Department, and the Broward County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, who was wanted by Honduran officials for the June 16 assassination of Roland Valenzuela, 44, a former Honduran minister of National Programs for Sustainable Development.
  • A 32-year-old Salvadoran national who was arrested by ICE ERO in Glen Cove, N.Y., is wanted in El Salvador for various “Mara Salvatrucha†gang-related offenses; including extortion, decapitation and dismemberment. He is in ICE custody pending immigration proceedings.
  • A previously deported 31-year-old Honduran national who was arrested by ICE ERO in Deer Point, Mich., and was wanted in Honduras on charges of alien smuggling. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service pending trial for charges of re-entry after deportation.
  • ICE ERO arrested a citizen of the Dominican Republic who was residing in Plantation, Fla., but was wanted in the Dominican Republic for murder. He is being detained at the Krome SPC in Miami pending removal proceedings.
  • ICE ERO Miami removed a Honduran national who is wanted by Honduran authorities for storage of prohibited firearms and explosives.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.