95 arrested during 5-day ICE operation in SE Texas

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor
CNN

HOUSTON - Nearly 100 people were arrested during a five-day operation in southeast Texas that started on April 17.

During the operation, federal officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 95 criminals. The operation ended April 21.

Everyone arrested had prior criminal convictions, 87 were men, eight were women, 82 of the 95 arrested had criminal histories that included convictions for homicide, aggravated assault, assault, burglary of a vehicle, child abuse, domestic violence, cocaine possession, fraud, driving under the influence, drug trafficking, felony marijuana possession, illegal entry, larceny, possessing a controlled substance and weapons possession.

“This operation was focused on fugitives and criminal aliens,” said Patrick Contreras, field office director of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Houston.

The area of responsibility for ERO Houston covers 54 counties in Southeast Texas.

Houston ERO officers made arrests in the following Texas counties:

  • Brazoria: 7
  • Ft. Bend: 2
  • Galveston: 4
  • Harris: 59
  • Liberty: 3
  • Matagorda: 4
  • Montgomery: 13
  • Wharton: 3

Those arrested are from the following countries:

  • Cambodia: 1
  • Cuba: 1
  • El Salvador: 8
  • Guatemala: 3
  • Honduras: 11
  • Mexico: 66
  • Nicaragua: 2
  • Nigeria: 1
  • Vietnam: 2

A 55-year-old citizen of El Salvador was arrested without incident in Houston on April 20. That person was convicted of manslaughter and was previously deported from the United States in April 1987, authorities said.

A 32-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested without incident in Houston on April 19. He is a Barrio North Side gang member with convictions for marijuana possession, unlawfully carrying a firearm and evading arrest, according to authorities. He was previously removed from the United States in September 2006.

A 44-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested near his residence in Houston on April 21. That man has criminal convictions for illegally carrying a weapon, vehicle theft, aggravated robbery and robbery, police said.

A 68-year-old citizen and national of Cuba was arrested at his residence in Houston on April 19. That person was previously convicted twice for robbery and twice for burglary of habitation, according to authorities.

A 25-year-old citizen and national of Mexico was arrested without incident in Houston on April 18. He has a criminal conviction for indecency with a child by exposure, authorities said.

Authorities said all of those who were targeted in the operation were amenable to arrest and removal under the 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, according to the department.

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

In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a crime.

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