July 24th, 2007 15:20 EST
Six sex offenders nabbed by ICE, 650 in the NYC area
NEW YORK, NY - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested six child predators and sex offenders in Westchester County today. The arrests were part of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE initiative that targets Internet p*rnographers, international sex tourists and those who prey on our children.The arrests were made by ICE Special Agents and officers from the Westchester County Probation Department. The targets include a citizen of Ecuador who was in this country illegally and was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 10 years probation. Also arrested was a citizen of Guatemala, who had U.S. permanent resident status, was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to three years probation. His victim was 13 years old.
Those who were arrested today are from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. All have prior convictions in Westchester County for sex offenses that make them deportable. ICE agents transported the subjects to various detention facilities where they will be detained and placed in removal proceedings. Those with final orders of removal will be deported from the country shortly. The others will have their cases heard before an Immigration Judge.
"We are determined to make our communities safer for everyone," explained Peter J. Smith, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New York. "We will continue to work closely with Westchester County and our law enforcement partners as we take these criminals off our streets and away from our children."
"We will not tolerate those who prey on our children," said County Executive Andy Spano. "We will continue to assist ICE in any way we can to remove predators from our county and our country."
Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 10,000 child predators and sex offenders nationwide. The New York ICE Office has arrested more than 650 child predators and sex offenders.
ICE has a toll-free number for the public to provide leads to its enforcement team on any violations, including tips about child p*rnography, child sex offenders and others preying on children. The toll-free number (1-866-DHS-2ICE) is monitored 24 hours a day by officers at the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center. For more information on Operation Predator, please visit the ICE website at www.ice.gov.
Smith expressed his appreciation to the Westchester County Executive`s Office and the Westchester County Department of Probation for their continuing cooperation and assistance in this enforcement action.