Nationwide ICE stings nets 39 arrests in Riverside-San Bernardino

ICE Director John Morton

United States Immigration agents arrested 39 people in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties as part of a seven-day nationwide sweep targeting criminal illegal immigrants, officials said on Wednesday. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation, which began on Sept. 17, included sweeps in San Bernardino County cities such as Victorville, which had four arrests, plus Rialto (3) and San Bernardino (3), Fontana (2), Hesperia (2), Twentynine Palms (1), Colton (1) and Rancho Cucamonga (1). Across the country, ICE netted 2,901 arrests, each having at least one criminal conviction, officials said. Twenty arrests were made in Riverside County. “This is what we should be doing,” ICE Director John Morton said at a news conference. “This is good law enforcement.” The numbers include 214 in Southern California, including 146 that had criminal convictions for serious felonies, including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, and aggravated assault, ICE officials said in a prepared statement. Forty-two were identified as gang members. “We’re really targeting the most egregious criminals,” said Bob Naranjo, ICE assistant field office director. Some 59 of those arrested in Southern California will face prosecution by U.S. officials on charges that include illegal re-entry after deportation, a sentence that carries up to 20 years in prison. Naranjo did not release information on the identities of those arrested or their specific offenses, which is customary, he said. “The number (of arrests) we made across the country is a record for ICE,” said Naranjo. “For the Los Angeles field office, it was a record number as well.” He noted a similar operation that took place in 2009, plus another one this past May. Operation “Cross Check” uncovered additional information, such nearly 1300 of those arrested had multiple convictions and 1600 had felony convictions. ICE identified 42 others as gang members. Cases involving a least 146 of those arrested during the sweep were turned over to various U.S. attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, the agency stated. Said Morton: “It makes sense to be removing people who are committing crimes who are here illegally, first and foremost.” Nearly 400 were re-entrants who had been previously deported on multiple occasions. The people arrested in Southern California include 59 who will face prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on various charges, including illegal reentry after deportation. The felony charge carries a sentence of as much as 20 years in prison. There were also arrests in other counties, including Los Angeles (103), Orange County (37), Ventura (26) and Santa Barbara (nine). Suspects were arrested in all 50 states plus four other U.S. territories. Read more: San Bernardino


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