Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) and the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 16 sexual predators, including seven suspects on Long Island, during a two-day period, ending Sept. 11 in New York City, the Hudson Valley and on Long Island, in an enforcement effort dubbed “Operation SOAR” (Sex Offender Alien Removal).
Among those arrested were:
• In Wyandanch, a 32 year-old Guatemalan national, who has a conviction for course of sexual conduct against a child less than 13 years of age;
• In Huntington Station, a 40 year-old previously removed Salvadoran national, who has a conviction for rape, and who has failed to register as a sexual offender;
• In Deer Park, a 54 year-old Italian national, who has a conviction for possession of sexual performance by child less than 16 years of age.
Other suspects were from The Bronx, Manhattan, Maspeth, Queens, Staten Island, Deer Park, Freeport, Greenlawn, Huntington Station, Wyandanch and New City in Rockland County. They included nationals from Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Ghana.
Of those arrested, ICE officials said five were previously released from local law enforcement on an active detainer.
For the past two years, the agency has clashed with numerous municipalities across the country, including New York City. In their release, ICE officials took not-so-veiled swipes at the city and similar municipalities.
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission,” it read. “In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including New York City, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat.”
“Many of those arrested in this operation had been found guilty of inappropriate sexual behavior against a minor,” added Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “Our communities are safer, our children are safer, from the efforts of the men and women of ICE. We have removed them from our city’s streets and we will seek to remove them from the United States.”
—Submitted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE)