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November 25, 2020Salt Lake City, UT, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE lodges detainer on man accused of child sex assault

Updated June 11, 2021: The VOICE Office has been replaced with the Victims Engagement and Services Line.

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) filed a detainer with the Washington County Jail Nov. 20 for a man accused of sexually assaulting minor children.

Juan Ubaldo Guerra, 56, is a citizen of Guatemala living in the United States illegally. He was charged by the St. George Police Department with four counts of sexual assault on a child, a second-degree felony.

Guerra illegally entered the U.S. without being inspected, admitted or paroled by an immigration official in 2000. ICE filed the detainer after Guerra was arrested Nov. 19 to obtain custody should Guerra bond out of jail.

“Every day our officers investigate and target aliens like Guerra so we can remove them from the U.S.,” said Jason Knight, acting field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. “The partnerships we have with local law enforcement agencies ensure the public safety by preventing both criminal aliens and potentially dangerous defendants, like Guerra, from being released back into the community where they could possibly reoffend or cause further harm.”

In most cases, once aliens pending criminal prosecution are transferred to ICE or otherwise enter ICE custody, ICE works with the prosecutor and law enforcement authorities, such as the district attorney’s office and relevant sheriff’s office, to ensure these aliens attend any and all criminal court proceedings. This ICE-DA cooperation involves transferring custody of aliens as necessary via writs of habeas corpus to further a criminal prosecution and ensure the alien is returned to ICE custody once the proceedings are finished. Such writs may also be used to ensure that aliens in ICE custody appear in court as witnesses.

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% of ERO’s administrative arrests during fiscal year 2019 either had criminal convictions or were pending criminal charges.

Victims of crime committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration are encouraged to contact ICE’s VOICE office if they need assistance. The VOICE office affords victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody, including the ability to get automated custody status information, releasable case history about the perpetrator, or having an ICE representative explain the immigration enforcement and removal process. The toll-free VOICE Hotline number is 1-855-48-VOICE.

Updated: 10/29/2021