ICE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

09/23/2016 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2016 06:24

ICE Denver announces results from 3-month heroin enforcement operation

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:

  • A group of five Honduran men were arrested in Denver, just days before the official launch of this operation; four are pending federal charges for heroin distribution; two were also charged with felony re-entry after deportation.
  • A 30-year-old man and previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested June 15 in Denver. He was convicted on two counts of distributing a controlled substance and sentenced to four- and five-year prison terms to run concurrently. New heroin distribution charges are pending against him, as well as charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
  • A 20-year-old man and ICE fugitive from Honduras was arrested June 15 in Aurora. He was convicted for 'assault 3-causing injury and child abuse.' He is pending federal charges for heroin distribution.
  • A 28-year-old man previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested June 16 in Denver. He had been twice convicted of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute (heroin). New heroin distribution charges are pending against him, as well as charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
  • A 25-year-old man previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested July 13 in Brighton. He was convicted in 2012 of transporting a controlled substance (heroin). He is pending six new heroin-related drug charges and pending federal charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
  • A 31-year-old man and previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested July 13 in Denver. He was convicted in 2009 of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute (heroin) and sentenced to six months' imprisonment. New heroin distribution charges are pending against him, as well as charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
  • A 27-year-old man previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested July 29 in Denver. He has convictions for transporting and selling narcotics (heroin), illegal entry, and felony re-entry after deportation; he has charges pending for aggravated re-entry after deportation.