NEWARK, N.J. — A Mexican national in the country illegally, who has a prior conviction for sexual assault on a minor, is among 101 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week in New Jersey, targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators. The operation was supported by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) New Jersey Field Office.
Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 88 percent were convicted criminals and 80 percent of them had prior felony convictions.
The New Jersey enforcement effort comes days after the agency announced a 40 percent spike in administrative arrests nationwide over last year – 92 percent of which had a criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive, or were an illegal re-entrant.
“HSI is committed to leveraging its broad jurisdiction to further public safety in New Jersey,” said Michael McCarthy, acting special agent in charge for HSI Newark.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extremely proud to have assisted in this operation,” said Leon Hayward, acting director for the New York Field Office. “It is through collaborative efforts, such as the one leading to these arrests, that law enforcement agencies can combat illegal acts and apprehend criminals who pose a threat to the Homeland.”
The individuals arrested throughout New Jersey were nationals of Brazil (3), Colombia (4), Congo (1), Costa Rica (3), Cuba (4), Dominican Republic (18), Ecuador (2), Egypt (2), El Salvador (7), Ethiopia (1), Georgia (1), Guatemala (6), Guyana (3), Haiti (3), Honduras (8), Jamaica (1), Korea (2), Liberia (1), Mexico (15), Nicaragua (1), Nigeria (1), Pakistan (1), Philippines (2), Peru (2), Portugal (1), Spain (2), Turkey (2), United Kingdom (1), Ukraine (1), Venezuela (1) and Vietnam (1).
These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (2), Bergen (6), Burlington (7), Camden (11), Cumberland (3), Essex (14), Hudson (15), Mercer (6), Middlesex (11), Monmouth (3), Morris (1), Passaic (9), Somerset (4), and Union (6) and the following counties in New York: Kings(1), New York (1), and Suffolk (1). They range from age 20 to 71 years old and all were previously convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the convictions included sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, possession of narcotics, distribution of narcotics, robbery, trespassing, DUI, fraud, possession of child pornography, domestic violence, battery, receiving stolen property, theft, possession of a weapon, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on law enforcement, assault by auto, shoplifting, invasion of privacy-recording sexual act without consent, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, and illegal reentry.
Among those arrested during this operation include:
- A Mexican citizen convicted of sexual assault of a minor
- A Turkish citizen convicted of possession of child pornography
- A Peruvian citizen convicted of invasion of privacy-recording a sexual act w/o consent
- A Colombian citizen convicted of aggravated battery and domestic violence assault
- A Spanish citizen convicted of storing/maintaining child pornography
- A Philippines citizen convicted of possession of methamphetamine
- A Dominican citizen convicted of cocaine distribution and possession
- A Guyanese citizen convicted of aggravated assault with a weapon
- An Egyptian citizen convicted of possession of heroin
- An El Salvadorian citizen convicted of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury
- A Korean citizen convicted of distribution of cocaine
ICE deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.
During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.
ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.