LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – A convicted rapist and a previously deported cocaine trafficker were among nearly 200 criminal aliens and immigration fugitives arrested in a Los Angeles-area crackdown, authorities said Thursday.
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division say of those arrested, 169, or almost 90 percent, had prior criminal convictions, primarily drug offenses, DUIs and domestic violence.
Among those arrested were:
- A 29-year-old Salvadoran national convicted of rape in California who officials say was deported in 2013 after serving a nine-year prison term, but subsequently returned to the U.S. illegally;
- A previously deported 51-year-old Mexican national arrested May 22 in La Puente who served three years in the California Department of Corrections following his conviction for cocaine trafficking;
- A 47-year-old Mexican national with prior convictions for felony assault and another conviction for battery, and whom DHS say was released in 2014 by local authorities despite an ICE detainer; and
- A 26-year-old Salvadoran national with a final order of removal arrested May 21 in Azusa who is a registered sex offender based upon his 2014 conviction for having unlawful sex with a minor.
“Operations like this are emblematic of the vital work ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers do every day seeking to locate, arrest, and ultimately deport at-large convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” said David Marin, field office director for ERO in Los Angeles. “By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone.”
At least eight of the individuals arrested during the just concluded enforcement action now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, authorities said.
Los Angeles County had the highest number of arrests — 93, followed by 26 in Riverside County, 23 in Orange County, 21 in San Bernardino County, 14 in Ventura County and 11 in Santa Barbara County.
Nine of the arrests were made in Riverside, with four in Moreno Valley, three each in Corona and Perris, two in Indio, and one each in Hemet, Menifee and Norco.
The majority of those arrested – 80 percent – were from Mexico. Smaller numbers were identified as Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Armenian and Russian nationals.
Since President Trump signed an executive order on immigration enforcement, ICE has arrested more than 41,000 people nationwide who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally, a nearly 40 percent increase over the same period in 2016.
Officials say almost 75 percent of those arrested during this period in 2017 are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.
In the greater Los Angeles area, ICE officers made 2,273 administrative arrests during that same time period, including 2,049 criminal aliens, according to official data.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)