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October 7, 2020New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests alleged Mexican street gang leader

NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers took custody of Fernando Olea-Prado, 25, a self-described leader of the Sureños (Sur 13) street gang, in Corona, New York, Oct. 1.

ICE previously removed Olea-Prado, who illegally entered the U.S. at an undetermined time and location, on two separate occasions in August 2013.

On Sept. 11, 2020, New York Police Department arrested and charged Olea-Prado, an unlawfully present Mexican national, with three counts of robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of stolen property.

After his most recent arrest, Olea-Prado had been released from local law enforcement custody despite being the subject of an active ICE detainer. Local law enforcement agencies routinely fail to honor ICE detainers as a matter of policy, which was adopted by the local city government.

“Where is the concern for the safety of the citizens that these local politicians were elected to protect?” asks Thomas R. Decker, ERO New York field office director. “It’s reprehensible that local politicians passed a law that allows a twice-removed, violent street gang member to be released from custody to commit more violence in this city.”

Decker went on to suggest that New York’s sanctuary city policies, which bar local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE’s immigration enforcement activities, underscore the importance of ICE’s public safety mission.

“When you have a criminal alien, like Olea-Prado, who flouts U.S. immigration laws, coupled with his gang membership, and the safe haven granted by local politicians, it creates a dangerous situation for New York City residents,” said Decker. “That’s why ICE officers must continue removing violent criminals like Olea-Prado.”

Olea-Prado will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

About Detainers

ICE relies on the exchange of information with its law enforcement agency partners to access foreign-born inmates at local, state, and federal facilities, and the use of detainers as part of its public safety mission. In many cases, these individuals pose a demonstrable threat to communities.

By lodging detainers against those individuals, ICE makes every effort to ensure that removable aliens are turned over to ICE custody after their criminal detention rather than being released into the community where many abscond or re-offend.

ICE recently released a quarterly declined detainer report to raise awareness of the type of dangerous criminals released in New York and communities around the country.

The report explains that ICE is congressionally mandated to remove criminal aliens from the U.S. and that public safety is jeopardized when local governments prohibit law enforcement agencies from honoring ICE detainers. These local policies, the report explains, force ICE to increase its presence in local communities.

Updated: 08/24/2022