Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 02, 2024
ICE ERO San Francisco Detains 27 Noncitizens in Drug Conviction Sweep Amid National Effort to Boost Public SafetySource: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Authorities in San Francisco clamped down on illegal drug activity in a significant sweep, arresting 27 noncitizens with drug-related convictions, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reported. The arrests were part of a broader national law enforcement effort running from March 11 through March 26, targeting individuals with convictions for trafficking and possessing substances such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin, among others, in a proactive measure by the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) sector of ICE, according to a statement.

ERO San Francisco Field Office Director Moises Becerra underscored the drive's importance, stating, "This operation reflects the ongoing efforts to prioritize public safety and enforce immigration laws drug-related offenses are taken seriously by law enforcement agencies due to their impact on communities and individuals.” Among those arrested was a 48-year-old Mexican national in Richmond, caught with firearms during a controlled substance transport. His case now lies with the U.S. Attorney for prosecution, and a 62-year-old also from Mexico in Fresno was booked for intent to deliver methamphetamine. These are just two instances of the broader crackdown that seized various offenders across the region.

The ICE operation builds on previous initiatives, including a February effort that saw 275 alleged public safety threats detained. ERO's strategy utilizes an intelligence-driven model, ensuring the focused deployment of resources toward the salient objective of safeguarding communities. The approach particularly zooms in on noncitizens who have been involved in criminal acts or those who have skirted the nation's immigration laws. Special attention is directed at potentially dangerous individuals and those with final orders of removal. Some may be prosecuted federally, as decisions rest with the corresponding U.S. attorney’s office.

Statistics furnished by ERO for the fiscal year 2023 paint a sobering picture of crime related to noncitizens, as 73,822 were arrested harboring criminal histories, culminating in 290,178 charges and convictions, which works out to an average of four per individual; this extensive rap sheet includes more than 33,000 assaults, over 4,000 sex and sexual assaults and hundreds of charges for homicide and kidnapping, throwing into stark relief the rationale for focused enforcement. Public engagement in reporting crimes is highly encouraged by ICE, with the call extending to citizens to dial 866-347-2423 for tips or utilize the online tip form. They can also stay updated about ICE's public safety mission in their community through social media channel X, with the handle @EROSanFrancisco.