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May 31, 2017New York, NYUnited StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests registered sex offender released on an active detainer

NEW YORK — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a Mexican national Friday who was released from New York City custody after a detainer lodged with local authorities was not honored. The man has multiple sexual abuse misdemeanor convictions.

Andres Flores Lopez, 36, entered the United States without inspection at an unknown date and location. His two misdemeanor convictions are from December 2012 and May 2014.

In April 2014, ERO officers lodged an immigration detainer on Flores Lopez with the New York City Department of Corrections (NYCDOC) while he was serving time at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility. In December 2014, the NYCDOC released him from custody without notifying ICE. Flores Lopez is a registered sex offender.

“It is unfortunate that we continue to arrest convicted criminals off the street simply because the city refuses to honor detainers and releases them back into our communities,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “Each time an officer is forced to pick up someone who could have safely been turned over it puts the officers’ safety, as well as the safety of the neighborhoods we serve, at risk. ICE strives to strengthen its relationships with local law enforcement entities in the interest of public safety.”

Flores Lopez was issued a notice to appear in immigration court and is currently in custody pending removal proceedings.

ICE seeks cooperation from all its law enforcement partners to achieve the mutual goal of protecting public safety. ICE submits a detainer request to local law enforcement agencies so an alien in the custody of local law enforcement who is subject to removal from the United States can seamlessly be transferred to ICE custody within a 48-hour period of time. A transfer of custody that takes place inside the secure confines of a jail or prison is safer for everyone involved, including our officers and the person being arrested.

When a local law enforcement agency fails to honor an ICE detainer, individuals who often have significant criminal histories are released into the community, presenting a potential public safety threat. ICE officers then have to locate these criminal aliens in the community, which is highly resource intensive. It’s not uncommon for criminal alien targets to utilize multiple aliases and provide authorities with false addresses. This needlessly puts ICE personnel and the public in harm’s way.

In fiscal year 2016, ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals. Of this total, 174,923 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States. The remaining 65,332 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majorities were convicted criminals.

Updated: 11/19/2020