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September 4, 2020Denver, CO, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE Denver arrests child sex assault suspect at the airport

Denver Justice Center failed to honor ICE detainer

DENVER — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested an unlawfully present Honduran man charged with sexual assault on a child at Denver International Airport Sept. 4.

In February, Celin Villeda-Orellana, 33, was arrested by the Denver Police Department for sex assault on a child and ICE lodged an immigration detainer Feb. 11 with the Denver Justice Center. The document requested the DJC hold Villeda-Orellana briefly until ICE officers could pick him up prior to any planned release. DJC declined the detainer Feb. 21 and Villeda was released back into the community to reoffend.

“A man charged with hurting a child in such a heinous manner has been released from the Denver Justice Center and was found at the airport. How is it justice to the victims to release these types of criminals to the streets?” said John Fabbricatore, field office director, ERO Denver. “It is unconscionable to allow people like Villeda to be released and not honor our detainer while he potentially reenters the community to harm another child.”

Villeda was found Thursday at DIA and was arrested as part of Operation Noble Guardian.

Previously, Villeda entered the U.S. through Nogales, Arizona in April 2007 without being admitted by an immigration officer. ICE arrested Villeda in Chicago, Illinois Apr. 26, 2007. On Jun. 6, 2007, an immigration judge ordered him removed to Honduras and ERO officers removed him Jul. 19, 2007.

In November 2018, United States Border Patrol (USBP) arrested Villeda near Rio Grande, Arizona and he was issued a notice of intent to reinstate prior order (of removal) pursuant to Section 241(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. He was released in San Antonio Nov. 7 on an order of supervision due to him being part of a family unit.

Villeda is currently in ICE custody pending removal from the U.S.

Operation Noble Guardian is a focused effort by ICE to identify alien adults exploiting the U.S. border by arriving with a child in an effort to be deemed a family unit and avoid detention, and who then after securing entry into the U.S. subsequently return the child back to their native countries where they are frequently used again by other adults to then enter the U.S. again as an alleged family unit.

ICE initiated Operation Noble Guardian beginning in May of 2019, and to date, has encountered over 760 children who entered the United States as part of a family unit and then departed the United States to return to the Northern Triangle a short time later.

ICE focuses its limited resources, first and foremost, on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety and border security and does not target aliens indiscriminately; the agency conducts investigations and gathers intelligence on specific individuals for immigration enforcement.

Targets are often those who were arrested on local criminal charges or have blatant disregard for U.S. immigration laws. The agency’s arrest statistics clearly reflect this. Nationally, approximately 86 percent of all people arrested by ICE during fiscal year 2019 either had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, had illegally re-entered the United States after being previously removed (a felony charge) or were an immigration fugitive subject to a judge’s final order of removal.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.