Latest ICE operation targeting criminal aliens nets 42 arrests in D.C., Va.

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For Immediate Release

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Latest ICE operation targeting criminal aliens nets 42 arrests in D.C., Va.

Targets included those with arrests or convictions for assault, domestic violence, other crimes involving victims

Notes: B-roll and photos available for download here

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday the results of recent enforcement actions targeting removable aliens who have been arrested for, or have pending charges or convictions, for crimes involving victims. In the Washington area of responsibility, which covers the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, ICE officers arrested 42 individuals, including 27 convicted criminals and three individuals with pending charges.

“The aliens targeted during this operation preyed on men, women and children in our communities, committing serious crimes and, at times, repeatedly hurting their victims,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the ICE Director Tony H. Pham. “By focusing our efforts on perpetrators of crimes against people, we’re able to remove these threats from our communities and prevent future victimization from occurring. Through our targeted enforcement efforts, we are eliminating the threat posed by these criminals, many of whom are repeat offenders.”

“This operation targeted individuals who not only violated immigration law but have additionally been charged with crimes. These arrests remove these individuals from our communities where they may have the opportunity to reoffend,” said acting Washington Field Office Director Matthew Munroe.

Nationwide, data captured from July 13 to Aug. 20 shows that ICE officers arrested more than 2,000 at-large individuals living illegally in the U.S., or who are removable from the U.S. due to their criminal histories. About 85 percent of those arrested by ICE on immigration charges also had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

Examples from the Washington field office include:

  • In Alexandria, Virginia, Edwin Nahun Mendoza-Santos, a 38-year-old citizen of Honduras, convicted in Brunswick, Virginia, in September 2019 of assault and battery on a family member.  On May 22, 2020, the Stafford Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court issued an arrest warrant for Mendoza, charging him with aggravated sexual battery of a minor less than 13 years of age. ERO turned Mendoza over to the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department on the outstanding warrant and lodged an immigration detainer to request his transfer back to ICE upon completion of the criminal case.
  • In Springfield, Virginia, Jose Peralta-Limas, a 50-year-old citizen of Honduras, convicted in Fairfax, Virginia in 2012 of assault and battery on a family member and of felony unlawful wounding in 2013, resulting in a three-year sentence. An immigration judge ordered Peralta removed to Honduras on June 11, 2014 and ICE successfully removed him on Dec. 12, 2014. Peralta illegally returned to the United States and his previous removal order has been reinstated. Reentry after removal is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
  • In Hyattsville, Maryland, Manuel De Jesus Rodriguez-Esperanza, a 27-year-old citizen of El Salvador, wanted in El Salvador for aggravated homicide. Rodriguez-Esperanza was ordered removed by an immigration judge in Baltimore, Maryland on June 24, 2016. He is the subject of an active Interpol Red Notice due to his murder charge in El Salvador. This arrest was conducted jointly with the Baltimore field office.

ICE continues to target criminal aliens and other public safety and national security threats every day. ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE takes many factors into account when investigating and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history.

Victims of crime committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration are encouraged to contact ICE’s VOICE office if they need assistance. The VOICE office affords victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody, including the ability to get automated custody status information, releasable case history about the perpetrator, or having an ICE representative explain the immigration enforcement and removal process. The toll-free VOICE Hotline number is 1-855-48-VOICE.

ICE exercises all appropriate prosecutorial discretion when encountering the family members of arrest targets and evaluates each individual situation to determine the appropriate course of action. In according with ICE Directive 10076.1 Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs, ICE exercises all appropriate prosecutorial discretion to minimize any effect that immigration enforcement may have on the willingness and ability of victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs to call police and pursue justice.

In FY 2019, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested individuals with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs.





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