NEWARK, N.J. – A Togolese national convicted of narcoterrorism in the United States was removed to his home country Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations Newark field office.
In February 2011, Francois Sourou Ahissou was charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States in support of the Taliban terrorist organization. He was paroled into the United States for criminal prosecution pursuant to his arrest in Liberia by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the FBI.
In August 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued Ahissou an order of judicial removal. He was convicted of cocaine importation conspiracy and sentenced to 66 months.
On Nov. 27, 2015, Ahissou was released to ERO Newark from custody at Fairton Federal Correctional Institute and the agency began preparations for his repatriation.
ICE coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and individuals ordered deported. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety. ICE's civil enforcement efforts are based on priorities set by the Secretary of Homeland Security in November 2014.
In fiscal 2015, ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals. Of this total, 165,935 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States. The remaining 69,478 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority of these individuals were convicted criminals who fell within ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities.
Ninety-eight percent of ICE's fiscal 2015 removals and returns fell into one or more of ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities, with 86 percent falling in Priority 1 and eight percent in Priority 2. In addition, ICE's interior enforcement activities led to an increase in the percentage of interior removals that were convicted criminals, growing from 82 percent in fiscal 2013 to 91 percent in 2015.