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Cape man picked up as part of ‘Cross Check’

By Staff | Oct 6, 2011

A Cape Coral man is facing deportation after being identified in a nationwide operation as a convicted criminal alien, according to federal officials.

Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the results of a seven-day national Cross Check enforcement effort, which led to 2,901 total arrests throughout all 50 states and four U.S. territories.

“This operation targeted foreign born nationals with criminal conviction histories ranging from drug traffickers and child abusers, to weapons violators and known gang members,” Marc Moore, the director of the Miami Field Office, said in a prepared statement.

“The removal of criminal aliens like these, who terrorize our communities and threaten public safety, is ICE’s top priority,” Moore continued.

Of the convicted criminal aliens arrested, 254 were located in Florida, including 136 in South Florida, 59 in Tampa Bay and 59 in Central Florida.

One of those arrested was a 31-year-old man living in the Cape. From the Czech Republic, the man had an INTERPOL warrant and is wanted in his home country for armed robbery, according to ICE spokeswoman Dani Bennett.

The man also had a prior DUI conviction in the United States.

Bennett was not permitted to release his name or exact home address.

In total, three people were arrested in Lee County during the Cross Check enforcement operation. Out of the three, two were located in the Cape.

Bennett could not release any details on the other Lee County cases.

“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,” ICE Director John Morton said in the statement.

“Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down at-large criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 2,901 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods across the country,” he continued.

Of the 2,901 arrested, at least 1,282 had multiple convictions. More than 1,600 people had felony convictions, including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, sex crimes against minors and more.

Forty-two were gang members, and 152 were convicted sex offenders.

Officials reported that 681 of those arrested had previously been ordered to leave the United States, but had failed to depart. In addition, 387 were illegal re-entrants who had previously been removed from the states several times.

Since December 2009, ICE has conducted Cross Check operations in 37 states, and in May, the agency conducted its first nationwide enforcement.

The recent effort involved more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from the 24 field offices, as well as coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout the United States, according to officials.