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Child Exploitation

Mexican predator arrested by ICE

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A illegal alien from Mexico, who had served a prison term for sexual battery of a child, was arrested on Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and placed into deportation proceedings.

Ignacio McDonald-Lopez, 47, was arrested as a result of the Joint Criminal Alien Removal Taskforce, which focuses on identifying, locating and arresting criminal aliens. McDonald-Lopez pleaded guilty in a Tennessee court in August 2000 to aggravated sexual battery and was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. ICE's local Fugitive Operations Team arrested McDonald-Lopez Jan. 6 after receiving information from the Board of Probation and Parole regarding his impending release from prison.

McDonald-Lopez is currently in ICE custody and is awaiting deportation. Aliens with aggravated felony convictions, such as McDonald-Lopez, who re-enter the United States after having been formally deported, commit a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operations in New Orleans. "Criminals in Tennessee should be on notice, because we will find you and bring you to justice."

This case was part of Operation Predator, which is a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

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.