The new ICE office, which will be overseen by a resident agent-in-charge, will be located in a fully equipped facility on the grounds of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
"ICE has always worked to be responsive to our eastern Oklahoma law enforcement partners," said John Chakwin Jr., special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Dallas. "Our new Tulsa office gives us much more flexibility, and allows us to respond rapidly to calls for assistance from area law enforcement agencies." Chakwin oversees ICE OI operations for the State of Oklahoma and 128 counties in north Texas.
As an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, ICE's overall mission is to protect national security by enforcing the nation's customs and immigration laws. The new Tulsa office will have the ability to address all of ICE's investigative mission areas, such as:
- National Security
- International Drug and Contraband Smuggling
- International Money Laundering
- Child Sexual Exploitation - ICE identifies, investigates and arrests child predators and sex offenders.
- Export Violations - Identifying and halting export of arms or technology to countries that are restricted from receiving them by law. Document and Benefit Fraud - ICE works closely with local, state and federal agencies to target anyone who uses fraudulent documents, or who illegally receives government benefits.
- Transnational Gangs - ICE works with local law enforcement to identify violent transnational gang members, make arrests as necessary, and ultimately return those who are here illegally to their countries of origin.
- Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking
- Critical Infrastructure and Worksite Enforcement
- Intellectual Property Rights - ICE investigates the import and sale of counterfeit, tainted or substandard merchandise, such as pharmaceuticals, food, clothing and pirated movies, books and music.
U.S. Congressman John Sullivan said, "After years of coordination with ICE officials, I am pleased to announce that we have secured a permanent ICE Office of Investigations for Eastern Oklahoma. This is a tremendous victory for the rule of law and public safety across Eastern Oklahoma. I thank ICE Special Agent-in-Charge John Chakwin of Dallas for his commitment to the enforcement of immigration and customs laws in Oklahoma, and for bringing this critical immigration and law enforcement tool to Eastern Oklahoma, as well as Sheriff Glanz for his continued leadership with the already established 287g program. Now, between the 287(g) program, and two permanent ICE offices, Tulsa is one of the most well-equipped cities in the nation to deal with criminal illegal immigration. I am proud to be a part of the solution to this nationwide problem."
U.S. Attorney David E. O'Meilia, Northern District of Oklahoma, said, "I am extremely pleased that ICE will locate a permanent Office of Investigations in Tulsa. My office has fully supported ICE and, since August 2007, its successful joint effort 287(g) enforcement program with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. The U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to work closely with ICE and its agents to enforce federal immigration laws."
Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz said, "The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is very excited about having an office here in Tulsa. We have discovered some areas of interest and look forward to the assistance of the ICE office will provide to local law enforcement."
In addition to its Office of Investigations, ICE is also comprised of Detention and Removal Operations, the Federal Protective Service, the Office of Intelligence, and the Office of International Affairs. For more information on ICE, go to: www.ICE.gov
To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.