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March 8, 2024St. Paul, MN, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO St. Paul arrests 15 noncitizen sex offenders during nationwide law enforcement effort

ST. PAUL, Minn. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) St. Paul arrested 15 noncitizens with sex offense convictions during a nationwide law enforcement effort that netted 275 noncitizen sex offenders. The operation ran from Feb. 5 to Feb. 16.

“All the individuals we apprehended during this operation are threats to our local communities,” said ERO St. Paul Field Office Director Peter B. Berg. “All were convicted of sexual offenses — most against children. ERO St. Paul officers across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska continue to work tirelessly to remove predators from our neighborhoods.”

During this operation, ERO St. Paul used an intelligence-driven enforcement model to target noncitizens who have committed egregious sex crimes while in violation our nation’s immigration laws.

Notable arrests include:

  • A 24-year-old national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, who was convicted of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
  • A 39-year-old national of El Salvador arrested in Bellevue, Nebraska, who was convicted of attempted sexual assault in the first degree, a person at least 12 years but less than 16 years old.
  • A 29-year-old national of Ecuador arrested in Minneapolis who was convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct, significant relationship, victim less than 13 years old.
  • A 41-year-old national of Eritrea arrested in Maplewood who was convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct, significant relationship, victim less than 16 years old, multiple acts.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO 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.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO arrested 73,822 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 290,178 associated charges and convictions with an average of four per individual. These included 33,209 assaults; 4,390 sex and sexual assaults; 7,520 weapons offenses; 1,713 charges or convictions for homicide; and 1,655 kidnapping offenses.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form. Learn more about ERO St. Paul’s mission to preserve public safety on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROSaintPaul.