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Child Exploitation
01/28/2011

ICE arrests 5 criminal sex offenders in the Rio Grande Valley

HARLINGEN, Texas - Five south Texas men, who were convicted of sexual offences against children, were arrested this week by officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in an operation targeting convicted criminal aliens. The enforcement activity was conducted by ICE ERO Fugitive Operations and the Criminal Alien program units. The operation was designed to locate and arrest at-large criminal aliens with sex offense convictions.

"ICE takes a prioritized approach to immigration enforcement, focusing first on identifying and removing aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director of ICE ERO in San Antonio. "Our operation this week is yet another example of the critical role that targeted immigration enforcement plays in protecting our communities."

A top priority for the San Antonio Field Office is to first focus on identifying and removing aliens who a pose a danger to our national security or a risk to public safety," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director for ICE ERO in San Antonio. "This operation is yet another example of the critical role that targeted immigration enforcement plays in protecting our communities."

All five men are Mexican nationals who were administratively arrested for violating U.S. immigration laws. They are all being held in ICE custody pending immigration court proceedings or deportation. Following is a list of the convicted criminal aliens who were arrested by ICE officers and agents during the operation; they have been placed into deportation proceedings: (For privacy reasons, ICE does not release the names of aliens who have been administratively arrested.)
A 46 year old convicted of aggravated assault of a child and Indecency with a child by sexual contact;

  • A 35 year of old convicted of Indecency of child by sexual contact;
  • A 71 year old convicted of Indecency with a child by sexual contact;
  • A 62 year old convicted of Indecency with a child by exposure; and
  • A 24 year old convicted of sexual assault of a child.

ICE ERO places a high priority on combating illegal immigration, including targeting illegal aliens with criminal records who pose a threat to public safety.

This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives. ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.

Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE last year removed a record number of more than 392,800 aliens from the United States; of that number, more than 195,700 were aliens with criminal convictions.

ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government's effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency's partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).