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Enforcement and Removal
11/03/2015

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235 arrested in 4-state ICE operation targeting convicted criminals

Utah accounts for 111 arrests

SALT LAKE CITY — A six-day enforcement action ended Thursday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) targeting potentially deportable criminals – such as convicted child sex offenders – resulted in 235 arrests across four western states, including 111 in Utah.

Arrests were also made in the three other states within ICE Salt Lake City's area of responsibility, including Nevada (89), Idaho (34) and Montana (1).

All of the foreign nationals targeted by ICE ERO officers during last week's enforcement action had prior criminal convictions. Many had criminal histories that included convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes and assault.

Those arrested in Utah include foreign nationals from eight countries – Mexico (95); Guatemala (4); Honduras (4); El Salvador (2); Peru (2); Samoa (2); Brazil (1); and Tonga (1). Following are criminal summaries of six of those arrested during this operation:

  • A 31-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in West Valley City, Utah, Oct. 24. He had been convicted for attempted unlawful sexual conduct, a felony, for which he was sentenced to three years' probation. He remains in ICE custody and pending immigration removal proceedings.
  • A 58-year-old man from Guatemala was arrested in Salt Lake City Oct. 24. He had been convicted of assault-committed with unlawful force to cause bodily injury, a class B misdemeanor, for which he was sentenced to 180 days in jail. He was also convicted for sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor and was sentenced 345 days in jail. He remains in ICE custody and pending immigration removal proceedings.
  • A 52-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Springville, Utah, Oct. 25. He had been convicted of continuous sexual abuse, a felony, and was sentenced to a term of 365 days in jail. He was also convicted of illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien. He remains in ICE custody pending his removal.
  • A 32-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Ogden, Utah, Oct. 27. He had been convicted of attempted unlawful sex activity with a minor, a class A misdemeanor, and sentenced to 365 days in jail. He is a registered sex offender. He remains in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
  • A 52-year-old man from Samoa was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Oct. 27. He had been convicted of sexual abusing a child, a second-degree felony, and was sentenced to 1 to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. He is a registered sex offender. He remains in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
  • A 32-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Oct. 27. He has twice been convicted of sexually exploiting a minor, a second-degree felony, and was sentenced to a term of 1 to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. He is a registered sex offender. He remains in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.

ERO received substantial assistance during the enforcement action from special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"ICE's immigration enforcement efforts are focused on apprehending and removing convicted criminals and individuals who pose a threat to public safety," said Daniel Bible, field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. "Owing to the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers – aided by our federal, state and local partners – there are 111 fewer criminals on the streets of our communities in Utah."

Those arrested during last week's enforcement action are being processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of removal, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals will remain ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

All of the targets in this operation met the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) two top immigration enforcement priorities as established in DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson's 2014 memorandum. Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets include convictions for three or more misdemeanors or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.

Secretary Johnson has directed ICE to prioritize the use of enforcement personnel, detention space, and removal assets to support the Department's civil immigration enforcement priorities. ICE continues to work with local law enforcement partners to uphold public safety, while taking dangerous criminals out of our communities.

In fiscal 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who return to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/11/2016