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19 arrested in Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Washington

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SEATTLE — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says 19 foreign nationals in northern Washington were arrested during an operation targeting convicted criminals.

ICE officials said in a news release the arrests of 18 men and one woman were made in Skagit and Whatcom counties over four days last week.

Those arrested had criminal histories ranging from drug trafficking to firearms possession. All but one facing federal prosecution will go through a deportation process.

Officials say 17 of those taken into custody were originally from Mexico, one was from Guatemala and one was from El Salvador.

Officials say all the people targeted in the operation met the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s top immigration enforcement priorities including threats to national security, criminal street gang members and convicted felons, among others.

“This operation illustrates ICE’s ongoing dedication to targeting convicted criminals and other public safety threats for arrest and removal,” said Bryan Wilcox, deputy field office director for ERO Seattle. “By taking these individuals off our streets and ultimately removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone.”

Among those arrested during last week’s operation were:

  • A 61-year-old Mexican male who has a  conviction for delivery and manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm;
  • A 45-year-old Mexican female with four separate convictions for assault domestic violence;
  • A 54-year-old Mexican male, whose rap sheet includes multiple drug convictions and multiple convictions for driving under the influence.