SALT LAKE CITY – United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents rounded up hundreds of undocumented immigrants with criminal records in four Western states in a six-day operation that ended last Thursday.
Authorities announced the captures in a news release Tuesday that said 111 of the 235 arrests took place in Utah. Another 94 arrests were made in Nevada, 34 in Idaho and one in Montana.
The immigrants were taken into custody last week. They will be put into deportation proceedings. Those arrested in Utah come from eight countries, most of them from Mexico (95); others included immigrants from Guatemala (4), Honduras (4), El Salvador (2), Peru (2), Samoa (2), Brazil (1) and Tonga (1).
Immigration officials say all of the people apprehended had previous criminal convictions. Some had committed serious crimes such as assault and child sexual assault.
One 31-year-old man from Mexico who was arrested in West Valley City, Utah, on Oct. 24 had been convicted for” attempted unlawful sexual conduct, a felony,” according to the ICE statement, for which he was sentenced to three years' probation. He remains in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
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A 58-year-old man from Guatemala captured in Salt Lake City on the same day was convicted of “assault committed with unlawful force to cause bodily injury” and sexual battery, both misdemeanors, for which he was sentenced to a total of 425 days in prison. A 52-year-old from Mexico taken into custody in Springville, Utah, on Oct. 25 was convicted of felony “continuous sexual abuse,” and sentenced to 365 days in jail. He was also convicted of illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien.
According to the statement, all of those arrested were deemed “threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, aggravated felons.”
The undocumented immigrants are in ICE custody pending deportation proceedings.
ICE deported nearly 316,000 immigrants across the country in fiscal year 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.