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Caribbean Immigrants Among Those Iced

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An immigrant arrested by US ICE agents in Miami, FL recently. (US ICE image)

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. Oct. 9, 2015: A convicted Jamaican-born murderer was among several Caribbean and Latin American migrants recently iced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in Miami.

The Jamaican citizen, a green card holder who lived in West Palm Beach and has been a lawful permanent resident since 1972, was among 314 criminal immigrants arrested in ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations across the state of Florida.

The man had pleaded guilty for murder, was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and placed on community supervision.

Also arrested from the Caribbean was a Cuban green card holder in Tampa who was convicted of lewd and or lascivious act on a minor and was sentenced to eight years of probation.

Both migrants are currently pending a removal hearing by an immigration judge.

Those arrested also included Caribbean nationals from Guyana, the Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, Turks & Caicos and Antigua as well as Latin American nationals from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.

Over one quarter of those recently busted had criminal records that included felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as murder, attempted murder, child sex crimes, sex offenses, weapons charges and drug violations.

The arrests were made in the Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, St. Lucie, Pinellas, Osceola, Indian River, Manatee, Duval, Suwannee, Volusia, Lake, Hardee, Marion, Orange, Sarasota, Alachua, Okeechobee, Seminole, Polk, Sumter, Henry, Brevard, Clay, Lee, Desoto, Collier and Hendry.

“As this operation makes clear, ICE is committed to prioritizing convicted criminals and those who are public safety threats for apprehension and removal,” said Marc J. Moore, field office director for the Miami Field Office of ERO, which oversees all of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Our communities are safer today thanks to the hard work of our officers across the state.”

PUERTO RICO ARRESTS

The Florida arrests come as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Juan announced that during the 2015 fiscal year, HSI San Juan arrested 1,058 criminals charged with drug trafficking, money laundering, commercial fraud, possession of illegal arms, child exploitation, human trafficking and smuggling, intellectual property rights violations, bulk cash smuggling and violations to import and export laws among other crimes.

The year netted 679 gang-related arrests; 182 arrests for drug smuggling and 61 for child exploitation, compared to 36 in FY 2014; 18 for human smuggling, and 81 for financial crimes.

Working jointly with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, HSI closed the fiscal year with an unprecedented number of seizures, including 48,572 pounds of narcotics. This represents a 93 percent increase in narcotics seizures compared to 25,041 pounds during the previous fiscal year.

HSI and DHS federal agencies seized 27,196 pounds of cocaine, which represents a 47 percent increase compared to 18,466 pounds seized in FY 2014.

FY 2015 also showed a surge in heroin seizures with an increase of 170 percent from 39 pounds in FY 2014 to 62 pounds in FY 2015. Likewise, marijuana seizures increased by 170 percent in FY 2015 with 6,369 pounds seized in FY 2014 compared to 17,962 in FY 2015.

The agency also seized more than $10.6 million in U.S. currency, 320 illegal arms and 20,515 rounds of ammunition.