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03/18/2008

Seasoned law enforcement leader tapped to head ICE investigations in Arizona

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary Julie Myers today announced the appointment of one of the agency’s top-level directors to guide ICE’s investigative activities throughout Arizona.  

Matthew Allen, who currently heads ICE’s Financial, Narcotics and Public Safety Division in Washington, D.C., will be taking over as the new special agent in charge (SAC) of the ICE office of investigations in Arizona.  Formerly, Allen served as the Deputy Assistant Director of ICE’s Critical Infrastructure and Fraud Division, providing national oversight of the agency’s human smuggling, worksite, intellectual property rights, and document and benefit fraud enforcement efforts. 

As the SAC for ICE in Arizona, Allen will be responsible for heading ICE’s six investigations offices statewide, including locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Douglas, Nogales, Sells and Yuma.  Allen knows firsthand the law enforcement challenges facing ICE in Arizona.  Prior to transferring to Washington, D.C., in November 2004, Allen spent four years in the ICE Office of Investigations in Nogales, Ariz., and served as the resident agent in charge from March 2004 until his departure.

Allen’s appointment comes as the current Arizona ICE SAC, Alonzo Peña, leaves the agency to assume another position.  During his 16-month tenure at the helm of ICE investigations in Arizona, Peña established strong working relationships with Arizona’s governor and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.  Under Peña’s leadership, ICE trained dozens of state and county officers in Arizona to enforce federal immigration laws, part of a nationwide effort by ICE to boost the number of criminal aliens being identified and removed from the country.  

“Alonzo Peña has worked tirelessly to promote partnerships with law enforcement agencies throughout Arizona and Matt Allen is committed to furthering that spirit of cooperation,” Assistant Secretary Myers said.  “Matt’s law enforcement experience at the national level and his familiarity with the issues affecting Arizona will be invaluable as he assumes this crucial post.”

As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE agents in Arizona are responsible for pursuing a wide range of criminal activity, including human smuggling, illegal hiring practices, money laundering, narcotics and weapons trafficking, financial crimes, commercial fraud, and violations relating to intellectual property rights.