GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing efforts to focus agency resources on the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 63 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and other immigration violators were arrested during a five-day operation in West Michigan.
This operation concluded June 5, and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) teams from Grand Rapids and Detroit.
Of the 63 arrested, all individuals had prior criminal convictions, including: criminal sexual conduct against a minor; larceny; bribing a public official; manufacture, delivery and possession of controlled substances including heroin, cocaine and marijuana; and, weapons offenses.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 59 men and 4 women arrested: Mexico (46), Guatemala (6), Honduras (2), Haiti (1), Kenya (2), Vietnam (1), Zimbabwe (1), El Salvador (2), India (1), and Zambia (1).
Arrests were made in 21 West Michigan communities: Grand Rapids, Holland, Wyoming, Kentwood, South Haven, Coldwater, Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Lawrence, Zeeland, Coopersville, Walker, Granville, Decatur, Marne, Stevensville, Hartford, St. Joseph, Comstock Park, Otsego and Bangor.
Following are summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation:
- A 44-year-old Honduran man with criminal convictions for possession of marijuana, controlled substance – delivery manufacture (cocaine, heroin, other narcotics) and trespassing. ERO arrested the man June 2 at a residence in Grand Rapids, and he will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 43-year-old Mexican man with criminal convictions for criminal sexual conduct against a minor. ERO arrested the man at a residence in Decatur June 2, and he will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 33-year-old Mexican man with a prior conviction for carrying concealed weapon, possession of marijuana, and receiving and concealing stolen property. ERO arrested the man June 2 at a residence in Grand Rapids, and he will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
"The arrest and removal of criminal aliens has a direct and tangible impact on public safety in communities in West Michigan," said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ERO Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. "Our continued focus on targeting criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators also ensures the very best use of limited agency resources."
In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Eighty-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
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.