ICE immigration sweep includes Renton, King County arrests

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) three-day sweep in Alaska, Oregon and Washington targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives, included arrests in Kent and other King County cities.

Nineteen arrests were made in King County, including the communities of Kent, Bellevue, Federal Way, Renton, SeaTac, Seattle, South Park, Lynnwood and Kirkland, according an email on Friday from Rose Richeson, spokeswoman for the ICE Seattle Field Office.

Eighty-four arrests were made March 25-27 in the three states, according to a ICE media release.

Of those arrested during the enforcement action which ended Monday, 60 had criminal histories, including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses and domestic violence. Among those arrested were a Mexican national charged with rape who had prior convictions for assault, domestic violence and immoral communications with a minor. He had recently been released by authorities despite an immigration detainer.

Others taken into custody during the operation included: a Russian national felon arrested in Portland whose criminal record includes a prior conviction for possession of methamphetamine; and a previously deported Mexican national with prior convictions for domestic violence and assault.

Those with criminal convictions included 19 for DUI; seven for assault; four for larceny; three for domestic violence; two for sexual assault and two for cocaine-related charges.

The operation, conducted by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), targeted criminal aliens who pose a public safety threat and individuals who have violated the nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.

Some of the individuals arrested during the enforcement action will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals 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.

“This operation highlights our commitment to promoting public safety through the pursuit of targeted criminals residing in the U.S. illegally,” said Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director for Seattle ERO. “Our officers will continue in their efforts to create safer communities by identifying and removing those not willing to comply with U.S. laws.”

Last week’s arrests (77 men and seven women) included nationals from 12 countries – Mexico (64); Guatemala (8); Honduras (2); El Salvador (1); United Kingdom (1); Cambodia (1); Brazil (1); Laos (1); Philippines (2); Western Samoa (1); Myanmar (1); and Russia (1).

King County accounted for the largest number of arrests during the operation, but ERO personnel conducted enforcement actions in 20 counties.

According to the media release, ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of immigration laws and border controls. These operations involve existing, established fugitive operations teams.

During such enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.