LAS VEGAS – Convicted drug traffickers and known street gang members are among the 87 foreign nationals arrested in the Reno and Las Vegas areas last week during an operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeting at-large criminal aliens.
The enforcement action, which concluded Friday, was carried out by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers and focused on individuals who pose a public safety threat. During the five-day operation, ERO officers arrested a total of 65 targets in and around Las Vegas and 22 in the Reno area.
Of the foreign nationals apprehended during the enforcement action, 20 had prior felony convictions and two were documented members of violent street gangs. Last week’s arrestees’ criminal histories included past convictions for drug trafficking, weapons violations, child sex offenses, and domestic violence. Four of those taken into custody were criminal aliens who now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Among those arrested in the Las Vegas area were:
- A previously deported 55-year-old Mexican national with a prior felony conviction for transporting and selling heroin;
- A 57-year-old Mexican national convicted of lewdness with a child under 14 that resulted in a four to 10-year sentence in state prison; and a
- 42-year-old Salvadoran national with multiple prior felony convictions, including one for statutory sexual seduction.
The Reno arrests included:
- A 33-year-old Mexican national with past convictions for drug trafficking, domestic battery, and DUI; and a
- A 19-year-old Mexican national gang member with prior convictions for resisting an officer and robbery.
The foreign nationals arrested during the operation include citizens of nine countries, including Mexico (65); El Salvador (10); Guatemala (2); Honduras (2); Peru (2); Philippines (2); Cuba (2); Taiwan (1); and Vietnam (1). Those who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. The arrestees who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
All of those apprehended during last week’s Nevada operation were immigration enforcement priorities as outlined in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2014 memorandum and more than 85 percent were Priority 1 or Priority 2 cases. Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets include individuals with convictions for three or more misdemeanors, or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.