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Child Exploitation

Previously deported Mexican predator arrested by ICE

CALICO ROCK, Ark. - A 35-year-old Mexican national convicted of sexual assault in the second degree was arrested here Monday at the Calico Rock State Facility by officers assigned to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Jose Medrano-Zuniga was arrested by DRO officers assigned to the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), which oversees the screening and identification of criminal aliens. Based on his criminal and immigration history, Medrano will be held until he can be removed from the United States to Mexico.

In 1996, Medrano illegally entered the United States near Brownsville, Texas. Federal officials returned him to Mexico on April 8, 2004, after an immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States.

In May 2004, Medrano illegally re-entered the United States near Eagle Pass, Texas. On April 6, 2005, the Fort Smith Police Department arrested Medrano and charged him with rape. On July 1, 2005, Medrano pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of sexual assault in the second degree and was sentenced to 180 months in prison.

"Our success with the Criminal Alien Program is largely due to the cooperative spirit between ICE and local law enforcement agencies that results in removing thousands of criminal aliens from our communities every year," said Philip Miller, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operations in New Orleans.

This case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.