SALISBURY, Md. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 22 convicted criminal aliens during a three-day fugitive enforcement operation which concluded Thursday.
During the operation, ICE officers arrested a total of 27 individuals; seven immigration fugitives who ignored lawful orders of removal, eight individuals who illegally re-entered the United States after being deported and 12 other immigration violators. It's a felony for someone to re-enter the United States after being deported, which if convicted, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Of the total 27 arrested, 22 had criminal histories including assault, battery, burglary, child endangerment, counterfeiting, disorderly conduct, DUI, heroin possession, prostitution, resisting arrest and theft.
The operation was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams on the Eastern Shore as part of the agency's commitment to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators. These arrests occurred in the following Maryland cities: one in Eden; 11 in Easton; one in Fruitland; two in Ocean City; two in Ocean Pines and 10 in Salisbury. Arrestees ranged in age from 20 to 57 years old.
For instance, one individual, a 57-year-old citizen and national of Jamaica, was arrested June 5 pursuant to an outstanding order of deportation. He is an aggravated felon, convicted of cocaine distribution, and a habitual offender. In accordance with Department of Homeland Security privacy policies, this individual's name has not been released.
The 24 men and three women arrested during this operation were from Brazil, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico and Nepal.
"ICE will continue to arrest criminal aliens who have ignored an immigration judge's order to leave the country," said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, field office director for ERO Baltimore. "Ultimately, these operations help improve public safety by removing criminals from our streets and from our country."
As of May 30, in fiscal year 2014, nationwide ICE criminal alien arrests accounted for 77.81 percent of overall arrests by ERO fugitive operations, or 14,507 criminal arrests out of the 18,645 total fugitive operations arrests for the fiscal year.
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.