LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A Mexican national previously convicted of sexual assault in the second degree against a minor child was arrested here yesterday by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Fernando Pinon Monjaras, 31, was arrested by ICE on June 30 through the Criminal Alien Program, which screens and identifies criminal aliens for removal from the United States based on their criminal convictions.
On June 5, 2009, Pinon was arrested for sexual assault in the second degree, in Springdale, Ark. The victim was 11 years old. On Aug. 19, 2009, Pinon pleaded guilty to the charges in the Circuit Court of Washington County, Ark., and was sentenced to a term of 72 months incarceration.
Pinon is currently being held in ICE custody and is being processed for removal from the United States to his home country.
"ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Philip Miller, ICE field office director for ERO in New Orleans. "Criminals in Arkansas should be on notice because we will find you and bring you to justice."
This operation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.