NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah R. Saldaña has named Angel M. Melendez as the special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York City.
As the special agent in charge, Melendez supervises a cadre of special agents responsible for investigating and enforcing more than 400 customs and immigration laws, including conducting major narcotics, financial and trade, gang, and intellectual property rights, human smuggling, and child porn investigations.
Melendez was born in Manhattan and at 12 years-old moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Prior to this appointment, Melendez served in a number of executive leadership positions, most recently as the special agent in charge for San Juan, Puerto Rico HSI Office, served as a subject matter expert and advised Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE senior leadership on issues related to Confidential Informants and Witness Support Programs and served as chief for the Investigative Support Section. Melendez also devised and directed the execution of Operation Caribbean Resilience (OCR). He mustered a coalition of federal and state partners to support OCR, which was later adapted as the DHS response to improve the public safety of Puerto Rico. OCR resulted in the arrest of 889 violent criminals, and removed 648 weapons from the streets of Puerto Rico, and more importantly contributed to a reduction of violent crimes.
Melendez is a 20-year law enforcement veteran who began his career in 1996 as a special agent for the legacy U.S. Customs Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He rose through the ranks from group supervisor to special agent in charge of the San Juan office. Melendez holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico and attended the senior managers in government Executive Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service and a Gulf War veteran.
ICE plays a key role in maintaining the safety and security of the United States relative to international trade and commerce, financial markets, contraband, industrial and strategic parity, and immigration and border integrity. ICE uses its unified immigration and customs authorities to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and other threats. ICE also attempts to deprive potential terrorists and transnational groups from employing traditional smuggling networks and methods to further their crimes against the United States.