Skip to main content
March 28, 2024Washington, DC, United StatesEnforcement and Removal, Narcotics

ICE arrests 216 noncitizens with drug-related convictions during nationwide law enforcement effort

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers apprehended 216 unlawfully present noncitizens who have been convicted of drug trafficking or multiple drug possession related offenses involving methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, or synthetic drugs, during a nation-wide law enforcement effort that ran from March 11 - 26, 2024.

“As a federal law enforcement agency, ERO works everyday to protect our communities from public safety threats,” said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Patrick J. Lechleitner. “This operation enabled us to do what ERO was created to do, and that is to focus on smart, effective immigration enforcement to protect our homeland by arresting and removing people who undermine community and public safety and violate the integrity of our immigration laws.”

“With more than 105,000 drug overdoses reported throughout the United States last year, the trafficking and proliferation of dangerous illegal drugs has shown its devastating impacts throughout our neighborhoods and schools,” said ERO Deputy Executive Associate Director Russ Hott. “Enforcement and Removal Operations personnel will continue to fight for the safety of our communities through the arrest and removal of those individuals who traffic drugs and exacerbate this terrible crisis.”

Today’s announcement follows a nation-wide enforcement effort in February where 275 individuals presenting a threat to public safety were arrested. By utilizing an intelligence-driven enforcement model, ERO makes efficient use of limited resources to promote public safety in communities across the United States.

Those arrested include:

  • A 44-year-old citizen of Mexico in Baltimore, MD, convicted in October 2023 by the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, NY, of felony money laundering, misdemeanor narcotics conspiracy, misdemeanor money laundering conspiracy, felony distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, and felony possessing/using/carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
  • A 34-year-old citizen of El Salvador in Cincinnati, OH, convicted December 2023 by the United State District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati, OH, of felony conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl.
  • A 44-year-old citizen of Mexico in Spokane, WA, convicted January 30, 2001 by the Franklin County Superior Court in Pasco, WA, of felony VUCSA-manufacture/deliver/possess with intent: heroin. On July 16, 2003, the Benton County Superior Court in Richland, WA, convicted this noncitizen of felony VUCSA-manufacture/deliver/possess with intent: cocaine.
  • A 32-year-old citizen of India in Orlando, FL, convicted October 2015 by the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Volusia County, FL, of felony trafficking of oxycodone. In January 2016, the 9th Judicial Circuit Court, in Osceola County, FL, convicted this noncitizen of felony possession of a controlled substance w/ intent to sell or deliver. In February 2016, the 5th Judicial Circuit Court, in Lake County, FL convicted this noncitizen of felony possession of oxycodone.
  • A 42-year-old citizen of Guatemala in Colorado Springs, CO, convicted in February 2017 by the Los Angeles County Circuit Court, in Los Angeles, California of felony-controlled substance –transport / sell: methamphetamine.

ICE focuses on the arrest of noncitizens who have committed crimes and other individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws. ICE officers, informed by their experience and training, use their inherent discretion as law enforcement officials to focus enforcement resources on those who pose a threat to national security, public safety, or border security. These efforts include noncitizens with final orders of removal. Cases amenable to federal criminal prosecution may be presented to the appropriate U.S. attorney’s office.

In fiscal year (FY) 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 crimes and suspicious activity by dialing 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form. Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X formerly known as Twitter @ICEgov.

B-roll, and imagery of the operation is available on DVIDS.