MIAMI - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 93 foreign nationals with criminal records and two others during a five-day enforcement action throughout Florida targeting convicted criminal aliens identified with being in violation of U.S. immigration law.
The enforcement operation, which began Dec. 6 and ended on Friday, was conducted by the ICE ERO Joint Criminal Alien Removal Taskforce (JCART). JCART operations are intended to seek, locate and arrest at-large criminal aliens with convictions for drug trafficking offenses, violent crimes and sex offenses.
"Arresting convicted criminals and immigration fugitives is a top priority for ICE ERO," said Marc Moore, field office director for ICE ERO in Miami. "Those who come to the United States to prey upon our neighbors and communities will be prosecuted for their crimes and ultimately returned to their home countries. The results of last week's operation demonstrate ICE's commitment to working with state, federal and local law enforcement to be a force multiplier in making our communities safer for everyone."
All 95 were arrested administratively for being in violation of immigration law, and all are being held in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings or removal from the United States. The 93 criminal alien arrests include 25 arrests in Miami-Dade County, eight arrests in Broward County, 13 arrests in West Palm Beach, 19 arrests in Tampa, 11 arrests in Orlando, one arrest in Tallahassee, two arrests in Jacksonville and 14 arrests in Ft. Myers. Two additional arrests of a non-criminal male in Tampa identified as illegally re-entering the country after deportation and female, who is an ICE fugitive with an outstanding order of deportation, were made in Ft. Myers. The overall criminal alien arrests include 84 men and nine women, representing 22 different nations, including countries in Latin America, Asia, Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Arrested by ICE ERO officers were:
- A 38-year-old citizen and national of the Dominican Republic, residing in Miami Lakes, Fla. He has prior 2010 convictions in Miami-Dade County for second degree attempted murder, burglary with assault or battery, and child abuse.
- A 25-year-old citizen and national of Mexico, residing in Apopka, Fla. He has a prior 2005 conviction in Orange County, Fla. for cocaine possession. He is also documented as an associate gang member of the criminal street gang "SUR 13" (SURENOS 13).
- A 42-year-old citizen and national of Mexico, residing in Lake Worth, Fla. He has a prior 2010 conviction in Palm Beach County for third degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
- A 44-year-old citizen and national of Mexico, residing in Plant City, Fla. He has a prior 2002 conviction in Collier County for child neglect.
JCART works closely with other federal law enforcement agencies and conducts special operations at the request of local law enforcement agencies. JCART may also target criminal aliens at large in the community who have been released from federal, state or local custody.
Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
This enforcement operation is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government's effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States.