DETROIT – Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 74 individuals during a two-state operation that concluded this month, targeting criminal aliens and other immigration violators in Michigan and Ohio.
During the 11-day enforcement action, ERO officers apprehended 71 aliens with criminal convictions.
The remaining three fall under the agency’s enforcement priorities as recent immigration violators.
Those arrested had criminal histories with past convictions for drug trafficking, DUI, weapons violations, fraud, domestic violence, burglary and other serious criminal offenses. Four of those taken into custody were criminal aliens who now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to officials.
The foreign nationals arrested during the operation include citizens of 18 countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, Bosnia, Burma, Honduras, Ecuador, Bhutan, El Salvador, Jamaica, Iraq, Venezuela, Jordan, Ukraine, Pakistan, Lebanon, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.
Those who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States.
Among those arrested were:
- An 18-year-old Ukrainian man with prior convictions for heroin and fentanyl possession and burglary. He was arrested in Cleveland, Dec. 1, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 26-year-old Guatemalan man with two prior removals from the United States and prior convictions for possession of a dangerous weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in public, assault with a dangerous weapon, money laundering, obstruction of public officer, and participation in a criminal street gang. He was arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dec. 7, and will remain in ICE custody judge pending his removal from the United States.
- A 25-year-old Burmese man with prior convictions for possession of criminal tools, aggravated possession of drugs, and possession of a defaced firearm. He was arrested in Akron, Ohio, Dec. 6, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
The arrestees who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
All of those apprehended during last week’s operation were immigration enforcement priorities as outlined in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2014 memorandum.
Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons.
Priority 2 targets include individuals with convictions for three or more misdemeanors, or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs, according to officials.