ATLANTA - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) administratively arrested 18 aliens in Georgia, Tuesday through Thursday, including sex offenders and other serious at-large criminal aliens. The arrests were conducted as part of Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Alien Removal), an operation targeting at-large criminal aliens that are removable due to their convictions for sexual offenses.
Three of the most egregious offenders arrested during the operation include:
- A 34-year-old Mexican permanent resident convicted of two counts of sexual battery in the Superior Court of Appling County, Ga. He is being held in ICE custody and is pending removal proceedings.
- A 47-year-old Nicaraguan national convicted of a hit and run in California Superior Court, West Covina, Calif.; driving under the influence in Colquitt County, Georgia State Court; driving with a revoked/suspended license in Wayne County, Georgia State Court; and sexual battery on a person under age 16 in Colquitt County, Georgia Superior Court. He is being held in ICE custody pending his removal.
- A 35-year-old Mexican national convicted of driving under the influence in Tifton, Georgia Municipal Court; driving under the influence and fleeing from police in Tifton, Georgia Municipal Court; and child molestation in McIntosh County, Georgia Superior Court. He is being held in ICE custody pending his removal.
"ICE uses its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community," said Felicia Skinner, field office director for ICE ERO in Atlanta.
This enforcement initiative was a part of ongoing operations being conducted in Georgia in an effort to locate criminal aliens living within the community and pose a threat to public safety.
ICE was assisted by Georgia law enforcement officials from the Appling County Sheriff's Office in Baxley, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office in Statesboro, Rabun County Sheriff's Office in Clayton, McIntosh County Sheriff's Office in Darien, and the Georgia Department of Corrections.
ICE encourages the public to report suspicious criminal 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.