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December 21, 2023Los Angeles, CA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Los Angeles arrests 26 convicted sexual predators in local 2-day operation

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Enforcement and Removal Operations Los Angeles announced today the arrest of 26 unlawfully present foreign nationals during a local enforcement operation that began on Dec. 18, and concluded on Dec. 20.

ERO officers focused enforcement efforts on removable noncitizens — specifically, those identified as having criminal convictions for sex offenses and pose a serious threat to public safety.

"The outcome of this operation exemplifies the professionalism, dedication and commitment of ERO Los Angeles officers to public safety," said ERO Los Angeles FOD Thomas Giles. “Removing these individuals and the threats they represent from our communities is our mission, and we will continue to safely and effectively enforce the immigration laws of our nation."

Officers prioritized enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 30, 2021, and reinstituted on June 28. Among those arrested:

  • In Los Angeles, a 19-year-old citizen of El Salvador was convicted by the Superior Court of California of felony sexual forcible oral copulation of a minor over 14-years-old and battery by restraint.
  • In Los Angeles, a 40-year-old citizen of Mexico was convicted by the Superior Court of California of felony lewd acts with a child and continuous sexual abuse.
  • In Los Angeles, a 35-year-old citizen of Guatemala was convicted by the Superior Court of California of felony child molestation in an inhabited dwelling.

ERO officers evaluate individuals on a case-by-case basis, assessing the totality of the facts and circumstances to make informed arrest determinations. Those cases amenable to federal criminal prosecution can be presented to the U.S. attorney's office. ERO also coordinates with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to evaluate the completion of relevant noncitizen applications.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 21,531 assault offenses, 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses, 5,554 weapons offenses, 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

As one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's three operational directorates, Enforcement and Removal Operations is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO's mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency's detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO's workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROLosAngeles, to learn more about ERO Los Angeles' missions and operations.