September 30th, 2007 06:29 EST
Predator arrested by ICE Fugitive Operations Team
MEMPHIS - A 43-year-old predator previously convicted for aggravated sexual battery was arrested here Tuesday evening on the second day of operations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) newest Fugitive Operations Team.
Gheorghe Turcas, a native and citizen of Romania, was arrested and identified as a convicted sex offender, who was ordered deported by an immigration judge and failed to comply with the judge's order. Turcas was convicted of sexual battery involving a minor in 1996. Removal proceedings were initiated against Turcas in 1997. After a lengthy appeal process, Turcas' order of deportation became final in 2005.
"Our officers are working tirelessly to ensure that our nation's laws are upheld," said Trey Lund, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in New Orleans. "Those who break our immigration laws shouldn't be surprised if they are arrested, charged and deported."
Nationwide, many of the fugitives arrested by fugitive operations teams are individuals who have posed a threat to public safety. Of the more than 61,000 illegal aliens arrested by ICE fugitive operations teams since the first teams were created in 2003, roughly 17,331 had criminal convictions.
Seventy-five ICE Fugitive Operations teams are now operational in cities nationwide.
This enforcement action was part of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. Under SBI, Homeland Security seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently. SBI also involves strong interior enforcement efforts, including enhanced worksite enforcement investigations and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside this country.
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