Federal immigration agents arrested more than 3,100 illegal immigrants during a six-day nationwide sweep aimed at convicted aliens, fugitives and other violators.
The "Cross Check" enforcement operation was conducted in every state, involved more than 1,900 agents, and netted more than 1,000 people with multiple convictions, reports the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation's immigration system," said ICE Director John Morton in a release. "Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 3,168 fewer criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators in our neighborhoods across the country."
Officers and agents from all of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations' (ERO) 24 field offices led the operation with assistance from ICE Homeland Security Investigations and other law enforcement agencies.
ERO officers arrested 2,834 individuals that had prior criminal convictions including at least 1,063 aliens who had multiple criminal convictions. Felony convictions included murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, terroristic threats, drug trafficking, child abuse, battery on a child, sexual crimes against minors, and aggravated assault. Of the 2,834 criminal aliens arrested, 50 were gang members and 149 were convicted sex offenders.
In addition to being convicted criminals, 698 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country. Additionally, 559 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country. Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 204 of those arrested during the enforcement action were presented to U.S attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The arrestees include:
- Carlington David Richards, 34, a Jamaican national, was residing in Federal Way, Wash. Richards is a recent border entrant and an international fugitive from justice, wanted in Jamaica for murder. ERO officers received an INTERPOL lead, which subsequently led to his capture.
- Jose Angel Duran-Ramos, 66, a Mexican national, was residing in El Paso, Texas. He was convicted of murder on July 10, 1984, and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He was an at-large criminal alien.
- Veasna Uy, 34, a Cambodian national, was residing in Long Beach, Calif. He was an immigration fugitive convicted on April 5, 2000, of manslaughter, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon.
ICE conducted the first successful Cross Check operation in December 2009, and has since conducted seven regional and two national Cross Check operations resulting in the arrest of more than 7,400 convicted criminal aliens. This operation is the third nationwide Cross Check operation in the agency's history. The first nationwide Cross Check operation occurred at the end of May 2011 and resulted in the arrest of 2,442 convicted criminal aliens. The last Cross Check operation in September 2011 resulted in the arrest of 2,901 convicted criminal aliens.
Last week's enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP), which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives. The officers who conducted last week's operation received substantial assistance from ICE's Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC), ICE's Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) and the Criminal Alien Program.