ICE arrests 44 convicted criminals in St. Louis area -

ICE arrests 44 convicted criminals in St. Louis area

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a statement Wednesday announcing the arrest of 44 convicted criminals in the St. Louis area as part of a month-long initiative resulting in the arrest of 280 individuals throughout the Midwest.

ICE worked with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) to apprehend 40 men and four women in the St. Louis area in a surge prioritizing the arrest and removal of convicted criminals allegedly living in the United States without legal permission.

Of the 44 individuals arrested in the St. Louis area, 33 are Mexican nationals, four are Guatemalan nationals, two are Kenyan nationals and the remaining individuals taken into custody were nationals from Honduras, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Vietnam.

According to the news release, arrested individuals had prior convictions of aggravated robbery, armed robbery, drug possession, burglary, aggravated drunk driving, possession of a firearm by a felon, battery, hit-and-run and drug trafficking.

"Our dedicated officers strive to make our communities safer by arresting convicted criminal aliens and removing them from the United States," said Ricardo Wong, field officer director for ERO Chicago in the release. "By focusing our resources on more egregious offenders, we ensure the very best use of our resources while immediately improving public safety."

ICE reported 315,943 deportations in the 2014 fiscal year and stated that 85 percent of the individuals removed had been convicted of a criminal offense previously.
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