Logo for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Courtesy United States Department of Homeland Security via Wikimedia Commons.
Logo for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Courtesy United States Department of Homeland Security via Wikimedia Commons.

More than 200 foreign nationals were arrested in Southern California by federal agents as part of a nationwide operation that resulted in 2,059 arrests.

Among the 218 people arrested in six counties in the Southland during “Operation Cross Check” was a known gang member with prior robbery convictions, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The five-day enforcement effort, which began on March 1, targeted people who are living in the country illegally and are deemed to be threats to public safety.

Those arrested nationwide are from more than 90 countries, and more than half of them have felony convictions, including involuntary manslaughter, child pornography, robbery, kidnapping, and rape.

The Southland accounted for the largest number of arrests by any local jurisdiction, ICE reported, with 101 in Los Angeles County; 51 in Orange County; 22 in Riverside County; 24 in San Bernardino County; 16 in Ventura County; and four in Santa Barbara County.

Nearly two-thirds of the foreign nationals arrested locally had prior convictions for violent crimes, and 14 of them had ties to street gangs.

“While the vast majority of the (suspects) arrested in the Southland were originally from Mexico — 167 — a total of 18 countries are represented, including Peru, Egypt, Armenia and South Korea,” an ICE statement says.

Among the Southland arrestees was a 26-year-old Mexican national and gang member. The man, whose name was not released, was arrested on March 3 near his home in Pomona, and is facing prosecution for felony re-entry into the U.S., a violation that carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

The foreign nationals who were detained during the operation but are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States.

City News Service

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