State police and federal immigration agents have arrested 24 men from across North Texas during a five-day effort to remove convicted sex offenders and other criminals from the streets and from the U.S.
The offenders were living here illegally, authorities said.
Statewide, a total of 50 men were arrested as part of the roundup, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which made the arrests with help from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The initiative, called Sex Offender Alien Removal or SOAR, targeted illegal immigrants who have committed sex crimes, particularly against children. Federal authorities call it the first statewide operation of its kind.
The operation began Saturday and ended on Wednesday. Most of the North Texas arrests were made in Dallas. Men were also arrested in Mesquite, Garland, Plano, Waxahachie and Fort Worth.
Of those arrested, 47 are convicted felons. A total of 40 were convicted of sex crimes. One man living in Houston had a murder conviction. Fifteen of those arrested in North Texas had committed sex crimes, federal authorities said.
Some of the men from North Texas also had committed drug possession, drunken driving, immigrant smuggling and aggravated robbery. Seven of them had re-entered the U.S. illegally after previously being deported. Doing so is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
âDPS is proud to have worked together with ICE in this successful operation to target and apprehend ruthless criminals who prey on Texans,â said Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw. âThese types of coordinated efforts between law enforcement agencies at all levels are critical to protecting our communities and keeping criminals off our streets.â
Of those arrested in North Texas, 19 are from Mexico. Others are from Laos, Nicaragua, SudanÂ andÂ Vietnam.
ICE released the following profiles of three men who were arrested:
â"A 44-year-old man fromÂ MexicoÂ was arrested by ERO officers Sept. 8 inÂ Dallas.Â He had been convicted in 1989 inÂ CaliforniaÂ of unlawful intercourse with a minor and sentenced to 365 days confinement and 60 monthsâ probation.Â After completing his prison sentence, he was deported and illegally re-entered theÂ United States.Â He was again deported in November 1999, and is again being processed for deportation.
â"A 46-year-old man fromÂ MexicoÂ was arrested by ERO officers Sept. 8 inÂ Dallas,Â Texas.Â He had served six years in prison following his 1996 conviction inÂ Houston,Â Texas, for indecency with a child â" sexual contact.Â He was deported in 1999 and again in 2003.Â He faces charges of failing to register as a sex offender, and will be deported again after he completes any criminal proceedings against him.
â"A 46-year-old man fromÂ MexicoÂ was arrested by ERO officers Sept. 9 in Caddo Mills,Â Texas.Â He was convicted in March 2006 inÂ Dallas County,Â Texas, for aggravated sexual assault of a child, and was sentenced to 10 years confinement, probated for 10 years.Â As an alien convicted of an aggravated felony, he is eligible for deportation.
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