ICE arrests 78 in enforcement surge in 5 Midwest states

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MINNEAPOLIS — Federal officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 78 criminal aliens and immigration violators in five Midwest states during a six-day enforcement action, which ended Friday.

During this operation, ERO deportation officers made arrests in the following states: Iowa (25), Nebraska (25), Minnesota (15), South Dakota (10) and North Dakota (3). Of the 78 arrested, 62 had criminal convictions. Seventy-two men and six women were arrested; they range in age from 20 to 64 years old.

Aliens arrested during this operation are from the following nine countries: Mexico (35), El Salvador (15), Guatemala (11), Honduras (10), Ethiopia (2), South Sudan (2), Kenya (1), Ivory Coast (1) and Sudan (1).

Most of the aliens arrested by ERO deportation officers during this operation had prior criminal histories that included convictions for the following crimes: assault, arson, rape, sex assault on a child, solicitation of a child, domestic assault against a child, prostitution-hiring a child age 13-16, felony theft, felony forgery, prostitution, manufacturing false documents, identity theft, hit and run, distributing a controlled substance, driving while intoxicated (DUI), drug possession, indecent exposure, domestic assault, illegal sale of a weapon, criminal impersonation, possessing drugs with intent to sell, burglary, malicious prosecution, illegal re-entry after deportation and witness intimidation.

Nine of those arrested were immigration fugitives. Thirty-one others illegally re-entered the United States after having been previously deported, which is a felony. Depending on an alien’s criminality, an alien who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.

The following are criminal summaries of six offenders arrested in the ICE St. Paul area of
responsibility during this operation:
May 7: ICE arrested a 20-year-old Mexican man in St. Paul, Minnesota, who is an admitted gang member. He has prior convictions for drug possession, and has been previously deported four times.
May 7: ICE arrested a 32-year-old South Sudanese man in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who has a prior conviction for rape.
May 8: ICE arrested a 49-year-old Honduran man in Omaha, Nebraska, who has numerous prior convictions, including eight DUIs, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct, illegal entry of an alien, and two convictions for illegal re-entry after deportation.
May 8: ICE arrested a 50-year-old Honduran man, in Richfield, Minnesota, who was previously convicted of prostitution – soliciting a person he believed to be aged 13 to 16.
May 8: ICE arrested a 32-year-old South Sudanese woman, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, who was previously convicted of domestic assault against a child.
May 9: ICE arrested a 30-year-old Salvadoran man in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, who has prior convictions for electronically soliciting a child. May 9: ICE arrested a 23-year-old Mexican man in Maplewood, Minnesota, who has twice been convicted of theft, and one of these convictions was a felony.

These individuals will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings, re-instatement of their prior deportation orders or criminal court proceedings. The St. Paul area of responsibility includes the five states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“This operation targeted criminal aliens, public safety threats, and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws,” said Peter Berg, field office director for ICE ERO St. Paul. “Operations like this reflect the vital work our ERO officers do every day to protect our communities, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. We will continue to devote the full efforts of our agency to protecting citizens and enforcing federal immigration law. Communities across the upper Midwest are safer today because of the hard work of the men and women of ERO.”

All of the targets in this operation were amenable to arrest and removal under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations daily nationwide as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.

These operations involve existing and established Fugitive Operations Teams.

During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States. These aliens are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers.