LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 16 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a three-day operation in western Kentucky.
This operation concluded Thursday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Louisville.
Of the 16 arrested, 11 had prior convictions for crimes such as: aggravated assault, drunken driving, theft, public intoxication and traffic offenses. Three of the 16 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart; two of the fugitives also had criminal convictions. Three of those arrested had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 15 men and one woman arrested: Mexico (11), Guatemala (5). The arrests occurred in the following western Kentucky communities: Henderson (2), Mayfield (7), and Paducah (7).
Following are summaries of two individuals arrested during this operation:
- A 37-year-old Mexican national has numerous prior criminal convictions that include: aggravated assault with a weapon, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, contempt of court and public intoxication. He was arrested Nov. 8 at his residence in Mayfield, Ky., and remains in ICE custody pending removal.
- A 57-year-old Mexican national has prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs and traffic offenses. He was arrested Nov. 8 at his Mayfield residence and remains in ICE custody pending removal.
"ERO is improving public safety and protecting our communities when we arrest and remove convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By focusing our efforts on these egregious offenders we are keeping the public safe while making the best use of our resources."
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP), which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.
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.