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07/27/2017
Washington, DC
Operational

The defendants, Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota, aka Juan Manuel Maldonado Amezcua, aka Zafado, 36, of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and Jesus Ivan Quezada Piña, aka Loco, 29, of Matamoros, Mexico, are among seven Mexican nationals extradited to the U.S. on federal charges in this case.

07/27/2017
Newark, NJ
Financial Crimes

Stefan Dumitru, 29, of Queens, New York, and Florian Calin Crainic, 47, of Des Plaines, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

07/27/2017
Newark, NJ
Cyber Crimes

Benjamin Donald Brunni, 19, of Greensburg, Indiana, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton federal court to one count of transporting and selling firearms without a license.

07/27/2017
Chicago, IL
Enforcement and Removal
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Jacinto Matom-Brito, 22, arrived in La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala, via ICE Air, and was turned over to local authorities.  He was wanted for sexually assaulting two minors in 2012 in Nebaj, Guatemala.
07/27/2017
Seattle, WA
Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

William Ali, 38, has been in federal custody since his arrest April 11, 2016, by HSI special agents. At Thursday’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, “You knew that if you did it you could go to jail and you proceeded to do it…you laughed and you were undeterred in your decision to come here.”

07/27/2017
Cleveland, OH
Human Rights Violators

Ilija Josipovic, 59, was removed to Bosnia via commercial airline under escort by deportation officers with ICE ERO without incident. In May, Josipovic pled guilty to two counts of possession of immigration documents procured by fraud. In the first count, Josipovic admitted that on Feb. 1, 2012, he used his Permanent Resident Card to obtain an Ohio driver’s license, knowing that the card was fraudulently obtained.

07/26/2017
Springfield, MO
Child Exploitation

Ben Culbertson, 56, of Nevada, Missouri, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to 262 months in federal prison without parole. Culbertson had been detained in federal custody since his arrest in October 2016.  Culbertson pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography via the internet on March 22, 2017.

07/26/2017
San Francisco, CA
Financial Crimes

Alexander Vinnik, 37, served as the owner and operator of a business known as BTC-e and was also the primary owner of BTC-e’s managing shell company, Canton Business Corporation. According to court documents, numerous withdrawals from BTC-e accounts went directly to Vinnik’s personal bank accounts. The indictment further alleges that proceeds from well-known hacks and thefts from bitcoin exchanges were funded through a BTC-e administrator account associated with Vinnik. He was arrested in Greece July 25. 

07/25/2017
Phoenix, AZ
Worksite Enforcement
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SUMCO Phoenix Corporation recently signed an agreement to participate in IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers), a voluntary program in which ICE partners with businesses to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. SUMCO received its certificate earlier this month formally marking the firm’s entry into the program.

07/25/2017
New York, NY
Enforcement and Removal
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Of those arrested during the enforcement action which ended Saturday, 82 had criminal histories, including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses, and fraud. 15 have pending criminal charges including assault, larceny and sexual exploitation of a minor. 37 individuals have final orders of removal. Nine of those arrested were released from local custody on an active detainer.

07/24/2017
San Antonio, TX
Human Smuggling/Trafficking
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A federal complaint filed July 24 alleges that James Matthew Bradley Jr., 60, unlawfully transported aliens in violation of law resulting in the death of 10 of the aliens transported. The tenth alien, an adult male, died overnight at a hospital. Upon conviction, the offense is punishable by life imprisonment or death, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.

07/24/2017
Sedona, AZ
Child Exploitation

Samir Wadi, (44), of Sedona, was sentenced July 19, by an Arizona Superior Court Judge following a bench trial who handed a guilty verdict of 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor under the age of 15, making each charged count a class two felony.

07/24/2017
Washington, DC
Statement

“The men and women of ICE are proud to stand alongside our law enforcement partners, including locally and at the U.S. Department of Justice, to combat these smuggling networks and protect the public and those who would fall victim to their dangerous practices that focus solely on their illicit profits. So long as I lead ICE, there will be an unwavering commitment to use law enforcement assets to put an end to these practices.”

07/24/2017
Newark, NJ
Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

Rosario La Marca, 54, a resident of Naples, Italy, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, to smuggle goods into the United States, and to structure financial transactions, and count two, charging him with trafficking in counterfeit goods.

07/21/2017
San Antonio, TX
Enforcement and Removal

During the July 10-19 operation, ERO officers made arrests in the following Central and South Texas cities:  Austin (13), Waco (3), Harlingen (44), Laredo (27) and San Antonio (36).  Of those arrested, 115 were men; eight were women.

07/19/2017
Washington, DC
Enforcement and Removal
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ERO’s 400th foreign fugitive arrest of the year was Rafael Alberto-Burgos, a 43-year-old national of the Dominican Republic and citizen of Spain, wanted by Spanish authorities for homicide. Alberto-Burgos is suspected to have participated in the 1997 murder of his ex-girlfriend, whose remains were found on a Barcelona highway. 

07/19/2017
Dallas, TX
Document and Benefit Fraud

Specifically, the indictment charges Bilal Ahmed Khaleeq, 47, and Amna Cheema, 37, with one count each of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.  If convicted, the count charged in the indictment carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

07/19/2017
New York, NY
Operational
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The graduation participants and guests filled the seats of a large conference room in the HSI New York Office. The ceremony opened with the presentation of colors by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Color Guard and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. HSI New York Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Angel M. Melendez offered the opening remarks, and addressed Explorers, thanking them for their commitment to the program and thanking their families for allowing HSI to teach their kids.

07/18/2017
Baltimore, MD
Enforcement and Removal
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Guatemalan authorities recently provided the ICE attaché office in Guatemala with a warrant charging Fredy Mariony Alvarado-Calderon, a previously removed alien with multiple felony convictions in the United States, with killing or attempting to kill an individual by shooting him with a firearm on Oct. 13, 2016, in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. ICE authorities in Guatemala also obtained information related to Alvarado-Calderon’s whereabouts and his known aliases.

07/18/2017
Williston, VT
Operational
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The unassuming office in Williston, Vermont, supports enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws and plays an important role in the identification of criminal aliens.

07/18/2017
Dallas, TX
Human Smuggling/Trafficking

In May 2017, a federal grand jury in Dallas returned an indictment charging conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking against Shatara Armstrong, 31, and the following four other co-defendants: Marquist Fulcher, aka “Keezie,” 28, Chapoleon Fischer, aka “Kidd,” 28, Marcus Speed, 26, and Tiffany Gideon, 22.

07/18/2017
Tucson, AZ
Narcotics
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Among the Tucson residents taken into custody Monday was the organization’s alleged ringleader, Rene Marcos Vera, 44. Also arrested were Raquel Ann Stansberry, 35; Cesar Diaz German, 50; Rosella Maria DeLeon, 58; Richard Andrew Leon, 38; Rene Marcos Vera II, 22. Tawney Waner, 31, a resident of Las Vegas and Joseph Sorce, 41, were both arrested in Chicago.

07/17/2017
Washington, DC
Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

Joao Pereira da Fonseca, 55, a citizen of Portugal, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from a scheme in which he conspired to help an Iranian company unlawfully obtain sophisticated equipment from two companies in the United States.

07/17/2017
Wichita Falls, TX
Narcotics

U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor sentenced Juan Leonardo Tello, 50, of Dallas, Texas, to 180 months in federal prison. In May 2017, Judge O’Connor sentenced the following three co-defendants to federal prison sentences for their roles in this methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy: Jackie Eugene Clayton, 38, to 235 months in federal prison; Juan Carlos Lopez, 53, to 100 months in federal prison; and Rudy Roman Ramirez, 45, to 135 months.

07/17/2017
San Antonio, TX
Enforcement and Removal

Eduardo Cervantes-Ruiz, 35, is accused of a 2008 homicide that occurred in State of Queretaro, Mexico. Cervantes-Ruiz was escorted by ICE officers to the U.S.-Mexico border at Laredo, Texas, and transferred to Mexican authorities July 17.

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