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January 9, 2020Salt Lake City, UT, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Illegal alien convicted of rape in 2012 arrested by ICE in Southwest Utah

SAINT GEORGE, Utah — Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a repeat immigration violator in Southwest Utah, Tuesday, who was convicted of spousal rape in 2012.

Denis Ivan Ortez, 35, a criminal alien from Honduras, was taken into ICE custody Jan. 7 after being pulled over for a traffic violation by the Utah Highway Patrol. Ortez, was convicted of spousal rape in April 2012, in Los Angeles, California, and sentenced to 3 years in state prison.

“This arrest is a prime example of how critical cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement is to public safety,” said Robert Culley, field office director for ERO in Salt Lake City. “Without the strong relationship we have with our partners, this convicted sex offender would have illegally remained in the U.S. undetected, posing a potential threat to the community.”

Ortez has illegally entered the United States on at least three occasions. On April 25, 2004, he was encountered by U.S. Border Patrol near Andrade Calif. He was granted a voluntary return and returned to Mexico the same day.

Ortez was found to be illegally present in the U.S. for a second time in 2012. On Feb. 18, 2012, ICE deportation officers placed an immigration detainer with the Los Angeles County (California) Sheriff’s Department following his arrest for spousal rape. Following his conviction for spousal rape and subsequent release from state prison on Sept. 4, 2014, he was transferred into ICE custody and administratively ordered removed to Honduras and deported Oct. 9, 2014.

Ortez was found to be illegally present in the U.S. for a third time, when he was arrested Jan. 7, 2019. He remains in ICE custody pending transfer to the U.S. Marshals Service to be prosecuted for illegal reentry.

About the ICE mission

ICE focuses its limited resources first and foremost by targeting those who pose the greatest threat to public safety and border security, and our officers make arrests every single day and the agency’s arrest statistics clearly reflect this.

Nationally, approximately 90 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.

Updated: 08/19/2022