SAN ANTONIO – 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, 90 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested last week during Operation Bear III throughout central and south Texas.
This six day operation concluded Thursday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) teams in the following five Texas cities: Austin, Laredo, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Waco.
"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment to protect public safety," said Enrique M. Lucero, field office director for ERO San Antonio. "We focus our resources and efforts on arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and those who disregard our nations immigration system."
The 90 arrested included aliens with criminal convictions such as: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, indecency with a child, burglary, unlawfully possessing a firearm, aggravated assault, driving while intoxicated and drug possession. Thirteen of those arrested had been previously removed from the country; they are being federally prosecuted for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported, which is a felony.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 89 men and one woman arrested: Mexico (83), El Salvador (2), Guatemala (1), Honduras (1), Philippines (1), Portugal (1) and Vietnam (1).
Below are five summaries of those arrested during this six day operation:
- A 37-year-old Vietnamese national and U.S. permanent resident with three prior criminal convictions for burglary was arrested Dec. 9 in Pflugerville, Texas. He remains in ICE custody pending an immigration removal hearing before a federal immigration judge.
- A 50-year-old previously-removed Mexican national with prior criminal convictions for possessing a controlled substance (cocaine). He was arrested Dec. 8, in Brownsville, Texas, and remains in ICE custody pending federal criminal prosecution for illegally re-entering the United States.
- A 33-year-old previously-removed Mexican national is a self-admitted Valluco gang member with prior criminal convictions for robbery and possessing a controlled substance (cocaine). He was arrested Dec. 9 in McAllen, Texas. He remains in ICE custody pending criminal prosecution for illegally re-entering the United States.
- A 55-year-old Mexican national and U.S. permanent resident with prior criminal convictions for indecency with a child (sexual contact) was arrested Dec. 8 in Laredo, Texas. He remains in ICE custody pending an immigration removal hearing before a federal immigration judge.
- A 30-year-old Mexican national and U.S. permanent resident was arrested Dec. 10 in San Antonio. He has prior criminal convictions for assault causing bodily injury to a family member and two convictions for theft. He remains in ICE custody pending an immigration removal hearing before a federal immigration judge.
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.