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Child Exploitation

ICE passes 100th arrest milestone in Operation Predator in Maryland

BALTIMORE, Md. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents yesterday arrested four convicted sexual predators, passing the milestone of 100 arrests of sexual predators in Maryland since 2003. All the predators arrested by ICE were foreign-born criminals who are subject to removal from the United States.

The arrests yesterday are a part of a national initiative called Operation Predator.  Agents from ICE Office of Investigations in Baltimore have worked in conjunction with state and local law enforcement to investigate and apprehend those who have committed crimes against children. 

"Children are the most valuable and vulnerable members of our community," said James Dinkins Special Agent in Charge of ICE Baltimore Office of Investigations.  "Through Operation Predator, we are systematically identifying and apprehending those who pose threats to our children."

The four were arrested in this operation yesterday have previously been convicted of crimes against children - including rape, statutory assault on a child, aggravated sexual battery, and sexual abuse. They have served their sentences and are now amenable to be returned to their countries of origin.

Carlos Alvarado, age, 37, a citizen of Honduras, was convicted of Rape, 2nd degree, in Baltimore County and was initially sentenced to six years of incarceration in 2005.  His victim was 11 years old.  Alvarado was arrested by ICE agents at his home in Owings Mills.

Richard Amos age, 36, a citizen of the Philippines, was convicted of child abuse in Montgomery County and sentenced to 18 months incarceration in 1990.  His victim was 5 years old.  Amos was arrested by ICE agents at his home in Riverdale. 

Jose Isa Portillo, age 33, a citizen of El Salvador, was convicted for carrying a handgun and a fourth-degree sex offense in Anne Arundel County in 2006. He was sentenced to one year in jail. His victim was 17 years old.  Portillo was arrested by ICE agents at his home in Annapolis. 

Yovanni Zelaya Ortega, age 22, a citizen of El Salvador, was convicted in Rockville of 3rd-degree sex offense against a 13-year-old victim in 2007.  He was sentenced to 10 years incarceration.    Ortega was arrested by ICE agents in Silver Spring.

Based upon their prior convictions for sexual crimes, all 103 individuals arrested in Maryland under Operation Predator are subject to removal from the United States, pending removal proceedings before an Immigration judge.

The 103 Maryland arrests are part of Operation Predator, a national ICE initiative that protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists, and other predatory criminals. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 child predators and sex offenders nationwide.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.