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Published:July 17th, 2007 11:42 EST
ICE fugitive operations team in Rhode Island

ICE fugitive operations team in Rhode Island

By SOP newswire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The newly formed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations Team (FOT) in Rhode Island has successfully completed its first month of operations, a month that included the arrest of 107 fugitives and other immigration violators. Included in that number were 33 criminal aliens. The team was formed at the end of May.

"This is an auspicious start for a fugitive operations team," said Bruce C. Chadbourne field office director for the ICE Detention and Removal Office (DRO) in Boston. "To take 107 criminal aliens and other violators off the streets accomplishes the ICE mission of working with our local and state law enforcement partners to make Rhode Island communities safer."

Chadbourne pointed out that the criminal aliens represented about 30 percent of those arrested by the team.

Below are a few examples of the type of criminals removed from Rhode Island communities:

  • Subject was convicted of possession of heroin with intent to deliver in 1993. He was ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge in 1999, but fled to New York. He then moved back to RI and remained at large until he was apprehended in June.
  • Subject was convicted of 1st degree child abuse sodomy/strong arm assault on a family member in 1999. He served three years with the rest suspended. He entered ICE custody in 2002 and was bonded by the Immigration Judge. He was ordered removed in December 2004. He was arrested in Providence and was currently out on a disability from his place of employment.
  • Subject was convicted of cocaine possession with intent to deliver in 1997. He was ordered removed based on that conviction in 2002. He had been at large since and officers learned during their search for him that he was currently on active probation until 2012 for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was arrested at his place of employment.
  • Subject was convicted of assault and battery on a police officer and assault in 1997. He was eventually ordered removed in 2006 and arrested on the outstanding warrant.
  • Subject was arrested as a re-entry after removal and will be presented for prosecution. He was removed from the United States twice and reentered for the 3rd time. He was convicted on possession with intent to deliver cocaine and sentenced to six years in prison. He was also convicted of illegal possession of a pistol and re-entry after removal and was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison for those offenses.

These arrests are part of ICE's interior enforcement strategy, which was announced in April 2006 by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers. A critical element of this interior enforcement strategy is to identify and remove criminal aliens, fugitives and other immigration violators from the United States.

The ICE fugitive operation teams were created to identify, locate, arrest and remove fugitive aliens from the United States. The highest priority of FOTs is to locate those fugitives who pose a threat to national security and community safety. Another goal is to eliminate the backlog of fugitives and ensure that the number of aliens deported equals the number of final orders of removal issued by the immigration courts in any given year.

Since the beginning of FY 07 (October 2006) the four New England FOTs have arrested more than 1,050 individuals. Thus far this fiscal year 75 DRO FOTs have been funded and are being deployed at ICE field offices throughout the country and have led to more than 21,670 arrests nation-wide - more than doubling the total number of arrests in FY 06 (10,110).