LEXINGTON, Ky. – As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, officers from ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 30 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators during a four-day operation in the Lexington and Bowling Green areas of Kentucky.
Of the 30 individuals arrested, 28 had prior convictions for crimes such as drunken driving, battery, criminal abuse and drug possession. In addition, seven were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Of the 28 previously convicted criminals, three had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered, which is a felony. An additional two were immigration fugitives with no criminal convictions.
Of those arrested, 19 are from Mexico, nine are from Guatemala, and two are from El Salvador. Although the majority of the arrests occurred in Lexington and Bowling Green; one arrest each was made in Paris, Ky., and Portland, Tenn.
Following are summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation, which concluded Tuesday:
- A 31-year-old Guatemalan national with criminal convictions for soliciting a prostitute, and second-degree criminal abuse. He was arrested May 19 at his Bowling Green residence and remains in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 28-year-old Guatemalan immigration fugitive with criminal convictions for operating a vehicle on a suspended/revoked license, endangerment, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was arrested May 20 at his residence in Portland, Tenn. He has an outstanding deportation order and will remain in ICE custody until his removal.
- A 40-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for endangering the welfare of a minor. He was arrested by ERO officers May 20 at his Bowling Green residence. He was placed in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
"ERO is committed to arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives that try to game our nation's immigration system," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ICE ERO in Chicago. "By targeting our efforts on criminals and egregious immigration violators we are improving public safety in Kentucky and across the country."
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting, and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system, including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.