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Enforcement and Removal
01/14/2013

ICE arrests 39 during 2-day operation targeting criminal aliens, immigration fugitives in Kentucky

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, 39 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a two-day operation in Lexington.

This operation concluded Sunday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams from Louisville, Ky.

Of the 39 arrested, 36 had convictions for crimes such as: assault, possessing a concealed deadly weapon, hit and run, drunken driving, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, domestic violence, and drug possession. One of the convicted criminals was also an immigration fugitive who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart.

The three individuals arrested who did not have any criminal convictions had been previously removed and illegally re-entered the United States, making them an enforcement priority for ICE. Anyone who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Of the 39 men arrested in Lexington, 38 are from Mexico, and one is from Honduras.

Following are summaries of two individuals arrested during this operation:

  • A 38-year-old Mexican national has prior criminal convictions for possessing a controlled substance and assault causing bodily injury of a family member. He was deported in 2005 and illegally re-entered the United States. He was arrested Jan. 12 and remains in ICE custody pending removal.
  • A 33-year-old Mexican national has prior criminal convictions for aggravated assault on a police officer, first-degree indecent exposure, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested Jan. 13 and remains in ICE custody pending removal.

"Our focus on priority targets significantly improves the safety and security of communities in Lexington and throughout the state," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By targeting criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators, we ensure the best use of agency resources with a continued focus on public safety."

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 criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.