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TOP STORY
Enforcement and Removal
09/13/2011

TOP STORY: Immigration enforcement agents calm unruly flight passenger

Agents Lonnie Cody and Carl Ulmer
Agents Lonnie Cody and Carl Ulmer
When you're in law enforcement, you never know when you will be called upon to help with a situation outside your assigned duties. Late last month, while escorting a deportee to the Republic of Congo, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Immigration Enforcement Agents Lonnie Cody and Carl Ulmer did just that.

Three and a half hours after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, on what seemed to be an uneventful flight, the agents were approached by a flight attendant, asking for assistance with an uncooperative passenger.

Agents Cody and Ulmer quickly reacted to the situation. While Ulmer remained with the deportee, Cody went to the front of the plane, where six flight attendants had surrounded the seemingly incoherent passenger.

"I really didn't have much time to think about it," said Cody, who has worked at the Newark, N.J., office since November 2008. "My adrenaline was high and my training kicked in."

When the passenger indicated that he may attempt to exit the plane midair, Cody subdued the passenger, convincing him to cooperate.

"Cody did a good job bringing the subject back and seating him in front of me so we could cuff him with flexible nylon cuffs," said Ulmer, who also works out of the Newark office.

When the plane made its scheduled stop in Casablanca, Morocco, the ICE attaché helped the agents coordinate with the Moroccan authorities. The passenger was taken into custody by local law enforcement authorities, who further coordinated his arrival to Togo.

Cody and Ulmer continued their scheduled mission, making sure the deportee was returned to his country of origin. However, their actions ensured the safety of the crew members and passengers on the Royal Air Morocco flight.

"I was happy that the situation was resolved without anyone being hurt," Cody said. "I wanted to keep the situation under control and not alert any of the other passengers."

Learn more about ICE's role in removal management.