NEWARK, N.J. — An Salvadoran national in the country illegally, who has an Interpol warrant for being a member of MS-13 and trafficking in firearms and narcotics, is among 91 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week in New Jersey, targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators. The operation was supported by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) New Jersey Field Office.
Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 77 percent were convicted criminals and 70 percent of them had prior felony convictions.
"The remarkable results of our officers and law enforcement partners highlight ICE's ongoing commitment to public safety," said John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of ERO Newark. "This operation focuses on the arrest of individuals convicted of serious crimes and are a threat to public safety. Because of the targeted efforts of these professional officers, there are 91 fewer criminals in our communities."
These individuals will go through removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge or for those under a final order of removal, arrangements will be made to remove them from the U.S.
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extremely proud to have assisted in this operation," said Frank Russo, Acting Director New York Field Office. "It is through collaborative efforts that law enforcement agencies can combat illegal acts and apprehend criminals who pose a threat to the Homeland."
The individuals arrested throughout New Jersey were nationals of Anguilla (1), Bangladesh (1), Cameroon (1), Colombia (4), Cuba (3), Dominican Republic (14), Ecuador (4), Egypt (1), El Salvador (10), Ghana (1), Guatemala (3), Guinea (1), Guyana (2), Haiti (3), Honduras (4), Jamaica (3), Korea (2), Macedonia (2), Mexico (12), Nicaragua (1), Pakistan (2), Philippines (4), Peru (4), Poland (1), Spain (1), St. Lucia (1), Trinidad (3), and Venezuela (2)
These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (3), Bergen (5), Burlington (3), Camden (3), Cumberland (6), Essex (19), Hudson (15), Mercer (7), Middlesex (7), Monmouth (1), Passaic (10), Union (8), and Warren (2). Also, one individual was arrested in New Castle county in Delaware and one individual was arrested in Bronx county in New York. They range from age 19 to 78 years old and all were previously convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the convictions included sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, possession of narcotics, distribution of narcotics, money laundering, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, theft, possession of a weapon, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on law enforcement, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, kidnapping and illegal reentry.
Among those arrested during this operation include:
- In Jersey City, a 39-year-old previously removed Venezuelan national, who has convictions of Aggravated Assault, Resisting Arrest by Force, Possession of a Weapon, and Distribution of Heroin;
- In Saddle Brook, a 46-year-old Bangladeshi national, who has convictions of Aggravated Assault, and pending charges for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor;
- In New Brunswick, a 47-year-old Honduran national, who has convictions of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, who was released by Middlesex County Jail and rearrested by ICE;
- In Passaic, a 24-year-old Jamaican national, who has convictions of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Lewdness;
- In Perth Amboy, a 32-year-old Dominican national, who has convictions of Possession of Cocaine, Domestic Violence Assault, and Trespassing;
- In Newark, a 45-year-old Pakistani national, who has convictions of Money Laundering and Theft by Deception;
- In Elizabeth, a 42-year-old Colombian national, who has a conviction for Homicide
- In Bergenfield, a 58 year old Philippines national, who has convictions for DUI, Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Assault;
- In Jersey City, a 54-year-old Dominican national, who has convictions for Kidnapping and Aggravated Assault;
- In Bridgeton, a 41-year-old Mexican national, who has a conviction for Criminal Sexual Contact;
- In Pleasantville, a 21-year-old Honduran national, who has been convicted for Endangering the Welfare of a Child;
- In Plainfield, 22 & 23-year-old El Salvadorian nationals, who are members of MS-13;
- In Lindenwold, 27 & 29-year-old El Salvadorian nationals, who are members of MS-13;
- In East Orange, a 23-year-old Anguillan national, who is a member of the Bloods;
- In South Brunswick, a 31-year-old Venezuelan national, who is a member of MS-13;
- In West New York, a 26-year-old El Salvadorian national, who has an Interpol warrant for being a member of a terrorist organization (MS-13), trafficking in narcotics and trafficking in firearms;
- In Bridgeton, a 22-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the gang Los Pelones
ICE deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.
During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.
ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.