U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) St. Paul Fugitive Operations Teams ― located in Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa ― have a strong track record in locating and arresting fugitive aliens who prey on children.
A fugitive alien is an individual who failed to leave the United States after receiving a final order of removal, deportation or exclusion, or who has failed to report to ICE after receiving notice to do so. So far in fiscal year 2015, St. Paul Fugitive Operations Teams have arrested 19 criminal aliens convicted on various charges of child sexual exploitation.
"In the St. Paul Field Office, we take pride in knowing that when we arrest a predator we are doing our part to make our communities a safer place for everyone,” said Denise Gearey, assistant field office director for the Fugitive Operations Program in St. Paul.
On June 17, the Des Moines Fugitive Operations Team arrested Ceu Awi Thang, 30, a citizen and national of Burma, who had been convicted for the sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl. He was sentenced to prison for ten years, two years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life. ERO St. Paul issued Thang a Notice to Appear, and he was placed in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
The St. Paul Field Office has also arrested and removed the following subjects:
- Honduran national, was convicted in Nov. 2014 for victimizing an underage teenager. The St. Paul Fugitive Operations Team members located and arrested Arita at his residence in Crete, Nebraska, on March 2 and by March 27 he was removed back to Honduras.
- A citizen of Mexico was convicted and sentenced to 48 months, 25 years of probation (with credit for 235 days) for sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old. The St. Paul Fugitive Operations Team arrested Ambriz on March 2. On April 14, Ambriz was removed to Mexico.
- A citizen of Mexico was convicted July 2014 for victimizing his 13-year-old stepdaughter. He was sentenced to 144 months and was also given 30 years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a predatory offender. The St. Paul Fugitive Operations Team arrested Urzua-Contla on Oct. 19, 2014 at the Goodhue County Jail in Red Wing, Minnesota. On Nov. 3, 2014, Urzua was removed to Mexico.
- A citizen of Ecuador, who entered the United States illegally in Feb. 2013, demonstrated credible fear of persecution or torture in his home country and was referred to a hearing with an immigration judge. Prior to his hearing, he victimized a 13-year-old. He was convicted and sentenced to 36 months, stayed for five years and 180 days confinement and ordered to register as a predatory offender. The St. Paul Fugitives Operations Team arrested Encalada-Llivicura in March after his sentencing hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On May 4, Encalada was removed to Ecuador.
- A citizen and national of Guatemala. Once in the United States, he was granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status in January 2013. On September 2014, Umana was in the Iowa District Court for Wapello County for enticing a minor. He was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to register on the Sex Offender Registry for his victimization of a 13-year-old. On September 16, 2014, the Des Moines Fugitive Operations Team arrested Umana. On October 10, Umana was removed to Guatemala.
- A citizen and national of Mexico, was convicted in Dec. 2014 for lascivious conduct with a minor and sentenced to one year in prison, ten years supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry for victimizing a 14 year old. On Feb. 25, 2015, the Des Moines Fugitive Operations Team arrested Rios and he was removed to Mexico on April 7.
Fugitive operations are spearheaded by ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program. In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 aliens from the United States.