TAMPA, Fla. – Eleven convicted alien sex offenders and other criminal aliens were arrested as part of a four-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
The goal of this operation, dubbed "SOAR" (Sex Offender Alien Removal), was to identify, locate and arrest aliens who have convictions for sex crimes, especially sex crimes against children. This operation was coordinated with ERO's fugitive operations teams throughout central Florida.
ERO's Operation SOAR began Tuesday and ended Friday.
"This operation was specifically designed to target and arrest criminal aliens who have been convicted of sex crimes," said Marc J. Moore, field office director of ERO Miami. "By removing these criminal aliens from our streets and our country, ICE is continuing our commitment to improving public safety in these communities as a whole and for our nation's children in particular."
Arrests took place in the following counties: Manatee, Hillsborough, Hernando and Orange. The arrested individuals are from the following countries: Jamaica, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba and Ecuador.
Criminal summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation include:
- A 21-year-old man from Jamaica was arrested by ERO officers Thursday in Orange County. He was convicted of felony child abuse, and that conviction related to sex with a child.
- A 57-year-old man from Haiti was arrested by ERO officers Tuesday in Hillsborough County. He was convicted of sexual battery and burglary of a structure.
- A 47-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers Wednesday in Manatee County. He was convicted of false imprisonment/kidnapping of a minor, along with cocaine possession and domestic battery.
These arrests were coordinated with ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives â aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by federal immigration courts. ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.