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Enforcement and Removal
02/05/2016

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82 arrested in Utah ICE operation targeting convicted criminals

82 arrested in Utah ICE operation targeting convicted criminals
82 arrested in Utah ICE operation targeting convicted criminals

SALT LAKE CITY — A seven-day enforcement action throughout Utah ended Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) targeting potentially deportable criminal aliens resulting in 82 arrests. 

ERO officers made arrests in the following 22 Utah cities:  Salt Lake City (26), West Valley City (17), Ogden (7), Kearns (4), Clearfield (3), Magna (3), Midvale (3), West Jordan (3), Cedar City (2), Orem (2), Bountiful (1), Clinton (1), Ivan (1), Layton (1), Payson (1), Pleasant Grove (1), Provo (1), Saint George (1), Sandy (1), Spanish Fork (1), Taylorsville (1) and Washington (1).  

All of the foreign nationals targeted by ICE ERO officers during this week’s enforcement action had prior criminal convictions. Those arrested had criminal histories that included convictions for the following crimes:  driving under the influence (DUI), burglary, resisting officer, making a false report, hit and run, obstructing a police officer, forgery, damage property, cocaine possession, assault, shoplifting, narcotic equipment possession, simple assault, amphetamine possession, dangerous drugs (heroin), carrying a concealed weapon, and controlled substance distribution.

The statewide Utah operation began Jan. 30 and concluded Feb. 5.  Those arrested include foreign nationals from six countries — Mexico (74), Honduras (3), Peru (2), El Salvador (1), Guatemala (1) and Samoa (1).  Following are criminal summaries of six of those arrested during this operation:

  • A 52-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in West Valley City Jan. 30. He had been convicted of the following felonies: aggravated assault (weapon), carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, two DUIs, and assault by a prisoner. He remains in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
  • A 36-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Salt Lake City Feb. 5. He had been convicted of the following felonies:  re-entry of a deported alien, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He remains in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
  • A 46 year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 5. He had been convicted of illegally possessing big game, a class B misdemeanor.  At the time of his arrest by ERO officers, he illegally possessed a fully loaded 9mm handgun.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office accepted him for prosecution for re-entry of a deported alien and illegal alien in possession of a firearm. 
  • A 24-year old man from Honduras was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 1.  He had been convicted of re-entry of a deported alien, improper entry by an alien, and transport/sell narcotic/controlled substance.  He was turned over to local authorities based on an active warrant; ICE lodged an immigration detainer.
  • A 57-year old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 3. He had been convicted of the following misdemeanor crimes:  two DUIs and intoxication. He was turned over to local authorities on an active warrant; ICE lodged an immigration detainer.
  • A 20-year old man from Mexico who had been previously removed was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 5. At the time of his arrest by ERO officers, he possessed a fully loaded 9mm handgun and a fully loaded .22-caliber rifle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office accepted him for prosecution for re-entry of a deported alien and illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

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

“ICE’s primary immigration enforcement efforts target convicted criminal aliens,” said Daniel Bible, field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. “Consequently, our operations improve overall public safety by removing these criminals from our streets, and ultimately from our country.”

Those arrested during this 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.  Two of those arrested have been accepted for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for re-entry after deportation.  The remaining individuals will remain ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future. 

“This was an extremely successful weeklong, statewide operation,” said Bible.  “However, our ICE officers conduct local operations targeting criminal aliens on a daily basis.”

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 November 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 2015, ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals. Of this total, 165,935 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States. The remaining 69,478 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority of these were convicted criminals who fell within ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities.

Ninety-eight percent of ICE's fiscal 2015 removals and returns fell into one or more of ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities, with 86 percent falling in Priority 1 and eight percent in Priority 2. In addition, ICE's interior enforcement activities led to an increase in the percentage of interior removals that were convicted criminals, growing from 82 percent in fiscal 2013 to 91 percent in 2015.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/08/2016