ERO Phoenix arrests 14 violent criminals during statewide operation

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PHOENIX — On Sept. 8, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Phoenix announced the arrests of 14 noncitizens during a statewide operation that ran from Aug. 28 through Sept. 1. Officers focused enforcement efforts against priority removable fugitive noncitizens — specifically, those identified as having criminal convictions for crimes including domestic violence, driving under the influence, drug distribution or trafficking, sexual abuse or exploitation, or unlawful possession or use of a firearm — as well as noncitizens with an executable final order of removal who have reentered the United States illegally after having been previously removed.

“When you witness the field teams from Phoenix and Tucson coming together, displaying such unity and purpose, it’s a sight to behold,” said ERO Phoenix Field Office Director John E. Cantú. “Their success in this operation speaks volumes about their professionalism and dedication; their performance in this operation wasn’t just commendable; it set a benchmark. I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude and pride to these teams to making Arizona communities safer.”

Officers prioritized enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by Secretary Mayorkas on Sept. 30, 2021, and reinstituted on June 28.

Those arrested include:

  • A 27-year-old citizen of Mexico arrested in Camp Verde who was convicted of misdemeanor assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct (domestic violence offenses) and was subsequently released on probation. An ERO Fugitive Operations Team arrested this noncitizen, who remains in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
  • A 41-year-old citizen of Mexico arrested in Glendale who was convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance for sale and was sentenced to three years of incarceration. ERO presented this case to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona for prosecution for reentry of a removed noncitizen. In Sept. 2009, an immigration judge ordered this noncitizen removed to Mexico; the noncitizen was removed the same month. An ERO Fugitive Operations Team arrested the noncitizen and transferred them to the custody of the U.S. Marshals with an immigration detainer. The noncitizen will return to ICE custody after completion of their criminal case.
  • 29-year-old citizen of Mexico arrested in Flagstaff who was convicted of misdemeanor extreme driving under the influence and disorderly conduct-fighting and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. In Nov. 2013, the noncitizen was also convicted of misdemeanor criminal damage-deface and sentenced to community service. ERO presented this case to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona for prosecution for reentry of a removed noncitizen. In Oct. 2020, an immigration judge ordered this noncitizen removed to Mexico; the noncitizen was removed the same month. An ERO Mobile Criminal Alien Team arrested this noncitizen and transferred them to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service with an immigration detainer. The noncitizen will return to ICE custody after completion of their criminal case.

ERO officers evaluate individuals on a case-by-case basis, assessing the totality of the facts and circumstances to make informed arrest determinations. Those cases amenable to federal criminal prosecution can be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. ERO also coordinates with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to evaluate the completion of relevant noncitizen applications.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 21,531 assault offenses, 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses, 5,554 weapons offenses, 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses. ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

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