February 21st, 2008 10:27 EST
ICE arrests man wanted in Florida for possession of child pornography
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A 67-year-old man wanted by the state of Florida for possession of child pornography is now awaiting extradition after his arrest here yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.
Gary Lee Hall boarded a Millennium cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a trip to the Caribbean earlier this week. He was subsequently arrested at the Pan American dock in San Juan after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors alerted ICE that Hall was wanted by the state of Florida since Feb. 7, 2008, for possession of child porn.
"The arrest of this man shows ICE's commitment and that of our partners in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who hurt our children no matter where the felony was committed - in the mainland, U.S. territories or abroad," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, acting special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in San Juan. "ICE and our DHS partners are very vigilant in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and will simply not allow criminals to pass through our ports of entry undetected."
Gary Lee Hall is currently in local custody awaiting extradition to Florida.
This arrest was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been nearly 11,000 predators arrested nationwide including 608 in Florida and 38 in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com