09/23/2016 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2016 06:24
DENVER - During a three-month operation designed to target alien heroin trafficking, officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 54-related immigration arrests within the Denver-metro area.
This was the first ICE operation of its kind in Colorado that was designed to specifically target alien heroin trafficking. The objective of this operation was to apply an organized, methodical approach to locating and arresting ICE fugitive aliens, previously removed aliens, removable criminal aliens, and otherwise dangerous aliens at large who are involved in transnational gangs and/or heroin trafficking organizations in Denver, Colorado. The three-month operation began May 31 and concluded Sept. 2.
To fight the growing heroin problem in Colorado, the following locally based law enforcement agencies participated in this operation: ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) District of Colorado.
'This Denver operation was designed to help make our communities safer by working with our partner law enforcement agencies to target alien heroin trafficking in the state of Colorado,' said John Longshore, field office director for ERO Denver. 'This was an especially successful operation given the arrests made to remove from the streets aliens involved in the heroin trade and criminal aliens.'
'In the past several years, much of the heroin resurgence in the Denver area can be traced to criminal aliens smuggling, transporting and distributing this illegal drug,' said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. 'The resources, expertise and law enforcement authorities of our law enforcement partners effectively worked as force multipliers in this operation.'
The U.S. Attorney's Office has accepted prosecution of more than 20 previously deported criminal aliens for re-entry after deportation and/or controlled substance violations. Anyone who re-enters the United States after having been deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.
Following are examples of those arrested in Colorado during this operation: