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September 11, 2020Salt Lake City, UT, United StatesChild Exploitation, Enforcement and Removal

Utah ICE officers arrest aggravated felon and registered sex offender

SALT LAKE CITY — Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE ERO) arrested an aggravated felon convicted of attempted sexual assault on a child among other crimes Sept. 8.

El Salvador national Francisco Josue Cardona, 29, a former Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, was released to ICE custody from the Utah State Prison.

“Thankfully ICE has a great relationship with state and local law enforcement agencies in Utah, so we can work together to keep child rapists off the streets of Utah,” said Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director for ERO Salt Lake City. “The arrest of a criminal alien like Cardona, whose criminal history includes heinous acts of violence toward a child, demonstrates why cooperation is so important between agencies.”

Cardona entered the U.S. in June 2006 without inspection. He was granted voluntary return to El Salvador by U.S. Border Patrol and was returned to Mexico on June 21, 2006. He illegally reentered the U.S. sometime in July 2006. Cardona applied for benefits under DACA in 2012 and was granted DACA status in early 2013. However, his DACA status expired in 2014.

In 2013, Cardona was convicted of two counts of possession of child pornography in Fairfax County, Virginia.

On Feb. 12, 2015, the state of Utah convicted Cardona of attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a 1st degree felony, for which the court sentenced him to a term of not less than three year in the Utah state prison.

ICE focuses its limited resources, first and foremost, on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety and border security and does not target aliens indiscriminately; the agency conducts investigations and gathers intelligence on specific individuals for immigration enforcement.

Targets are often those who were arrested on local criminal charges or have blatant disregard for U.S. immigration laws. The agency’s arrest statistics clearly reflect this. Nationally, approximately 86 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.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

Updated: 09/15/2020