United States immigration authorities say they have captured a Jamaican fugitive among over 3,100 convicted criminal immigrants and fugitives in a major nationwide operation.
As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) “ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators,” the agency said on April 9 that Carlington David Richards, 34, a national of Jamaica, who was residing in Federal Way, Washington, “is a recent border entrant and an international fugitive from justice.”
ICE said Richards is wanted in Jamaica for murder.
“ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) officers received an INTERPOL lead, which subsequently led to his capture,” it said.
“He was placed into ICE custody pending removal proceedings,” the statement added.
ICE said Richards’ arrest was part of a six-day national “Cross Check” enforcement operation.
“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation’s immigration system,” said ICE Director John Morton.
“Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 3,168 fewer criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators in our neighborhoods across the country,” he added.
Morton said the six-day operation, the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from all of ICE’s ERO 24 field offices.
He said ICE also received assistance from U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement partners.
Morton said the arrests occurred in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
He said ERO officers arrested 2,834 individuals who had prior criminal convictions, including at least 1,063 immigrants, who had “multiple criminal convictions.”
Of those arrested, Morton said 1,477 had felony convictions including murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, terroristic threats, drug trafficking, child abuse, battery on a child, sexual crimes against minors, and aggravated assault.
He said of the total 2,834 criminal immigrants arrested, 50 were gang members, and 149 were convicted sex offenders.
In addition to being convicted criminals, Morton said 698 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives, “who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart.”
Additionally, he said 559 were “illegal re-entrants,” who had been previously removed from the country.
“Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 204 of those arrested during the enforcement action were presented to US attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges, including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison,” the statement said.
Apart from Richards, Morton did not identify the nationalities of Caribbean immigrants arrested in the sweep nor did he reveal the number of Caribbean nationals detained.
“ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security,” Morton said.
“ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system, including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country,” he added.