Federal immigration agents arrested nearly 200 people in the Los Angeles area during a five-day dragnet targeting criminal offenders living in the country illegally, U.S. officials said Thursday.
Agents arrested 188 people in an operation targeting “at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives,” according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nearly 90% — 169 — of those arrested in the operation, which ended Wednesday, had prior convictions, officials said. Those arrested included nationals from 11 countries. The majority, 146 people, are from Mexico. Others are nationals of El Salvador, Armenia, Honduras, Thailand, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia and the Philippines, according to ICE.
Among them was a 29-year-old Salvadoran national who was deported in 2013 after serving a nine-year prison term for rape and who returned to the United States illegally, ICE said in a statement. Also detained were a previously deported 51-year-old from Mexico convicted of cocaine trafficking, a 47-year-old from Mexico with prior convictions for felony assault and another conviction for battery, and a 26-year-old Salvadoran national who is a registered sex offender, according to ICE.