ICE Houston sweeps up 10 undocumented immigrants listed as sex offenders; 8 accused in crimes against children

Handcuffs

HOUSTON – Fugitive operations officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Houston Field Office arrested 10 unlawfully present convicted sex offenders in May who were residing in the Houston-area. Eight of the individuals arrested were convicted of sex offenses involving minors.

The arrests were all made under Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Arrest and Removal), a coordinated fugitive operations initiative that prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present convicted sex offenders.

“The ICE ERO Houston Field Office is committed to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws against violent criminals, sex offenders and other priority migrants who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” said ERO Houston acting Field Office Director Matt Baker. “By successfully arresting 10 sex offenders and child predators in the span of just one month, our fugitive operations officers are helping us make good on that unyielding commitment to arrest and remove those unlawfully present individuals who pose the greatest threat to the security and safety of our community.”

SOAR arrests made by ERO Houston in May included:

  • A 34-year-old unlawfully present Guatemalan national convicted in Harris County, Texas, of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
  • A 41-year-old previously removed Salvadoran national convicted in Harris County of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
  • A 61-year-old unlawfully present Mexican national convicted in Harris County of indecency with a child through sexual contact.
  • A 33-year-old unlawfully present Honduran national convicted in Harris County of indecent exposure to a minor.
  • A 39-year-old unlawfully present Honduran national convicted in Harris County of indecency with a child through sexual contact.
  • A 44-year-old unlawfully present Mexican national convicted in Angelina County, Texas, of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
  • A 57-year-old unlawfully present Salvadoran national convicted in Harris County of indecency with a child through sexual contact.
  • A 58-year-old unlawfully present Mexican national convicted in Harris County of indecency with a child through sexual contact.
  • A 61-year-old unlawfully present Mexican national convicted in Harris County for indecent exposure on three separate occasions.
  • A 46-year-old unlawfully present Mexican national who has previously been removed from the U.S. on four separate occasions and convicted in Multnomah County, Oregon, of first-degree sexual abuse.

Three of the noncitizen sex offenders arrested by ERO Houston in May have been removed from the U.S. to their country of origin. A fourth sex offender has been ordered removed by an immigration judge and is awaiting removal. The other six individuals remain in ICE custody pending disposition of their immigration proceedings.

ICE has 129 fugitive operations teams across the country that prioritize immigration enforcement efforts toward noncitizens who present a heightened threat to national security and public safety, such as transnational gang members, child sex offenders and noncitizens with prior convictions for violent crimes. Since the inception of the National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) in 2003, fugitive operations officers have arrested more than 445,000 removable noncitizens.