JAMES CITY — Federal immigration authorities arrested 132 people — including a man in James City County and four in Newport News — earlier this month as part of an 11-day crackdown in Virginia and Washington.
The man in James City County, a South African national, was arrested on civil immigration violations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell said. He also has pending charges for assault and battery.
Cutrell declined to identify the man, stating that the “individuals were arrested on civil immigration violations so they are afforded certain privacy protections.”
The man has been issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge, whose court is overseen by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, and will be processed for removal from the country, Cutrell said.
The arrest came during ICE’s Operation Eagle’s Shield, which targeted “notable threats to public safety” throughout Virginia and Washington, according to an ICE news release.
The operation targeted “violent offenders” such as MS-13 gang members and sex offenders, the release said. It was conducted by the Washington field office of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations between July 9 and 20.
The 131 men and one woman arrested in the crackdown were from nations including Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Sudan.
Four men were arrested in Newport News. Two of them, both from Guatemala, illegally re-entered the United States after a previous removal, Cutrell said. They face up to 20 years in prison and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A third Guatemalan man located in Newport News was a fugitive from a final order of removal from a federal immigration judge.
The fourth man arrested in Newport News is a Mexican national who was previously convicted on two charges of petty larceny.
ICE did not report any arrests in York County or Williamsburg during the operation.
Nine of the immigrants have already been deported, ICE said.
“We set out to locate and detain known, dangerous criminal aliens who are hiding and operating in the neighborhoods we call home,” said Russell Hott, director for the Enforcement and Removal Operations’ field office in Washington. “Today’s announcement is the result of the absolutely essential work our ICE officers perform to identify the worst of the worst and ensure they have no refuge here.”
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI shared information with ICE for the operation.
Other organizations that provided support during Operation Eagle’s Shield include ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.