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Tag: ICE

Federal Agents Seize $30M Worth of Drugs in ‘Sophisticated’ Smuggling Tunnel

Drugs found inside a half-mile tunnel. Via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents seized thousands of pounds of drugs in a “sophisticated” smuggling tunnel that extends from a warehouse in Mexico to another warehouse in San Diego.

Inside the half-mile tunnel were 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than two pounds of fentanyl worth nearly $30 million, ICE announced in a news release.

The tunnel included reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.

“I’m proud of the excellent work performed by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, as well as U.S. Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement Administration agents as integrated partners of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force. Their tenacity made the difference in shutting down this tunnel,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Diego. “I hope this sends a clear message that despite the ongoing public health crisis, HSI and our law enforcement partners will remain resilient and continue to pursue criminal organizations responsible for the cross-border smuggling of narcotics into the United States.”

Authorities Seize Record-Breaking $134M Worth of Counterfeit Super Bowl Merchandise

Counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A record-breaking $134 million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise was seized in Miami ahead of the big game Sunday.

Authorities from CBP, ICE and Homeland Security Investigations targeted international shipments of the counterfeit merchandise, as well as flea markets, retail outlets and street vendors, as part of the ongoing sting Operation Team Player, which focuses on counterfeit sports merchandise. They seized fake jerseys, jewelry, hats, cell-phone accessories and thousands of other bogus items that were to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Last year, Operation Team Player seized $24.2 million worth of counterfeit sports merchandise.

“Every day, cargo containers containing billions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit goods enter the United States through its land, sea and air ports of entry,” Steve Francis, director of Homeland Security Investigations’ Intellectual Property Rights, said in a news release. “This year’s record-breaking ‘Operation Team Player’ results affirm HSI’s commitment to protecting American consumers, the economy, and legitimate business, by ensuring Super Bowl 54 is not compromised by transnational criminal networks exploiting fan enthusiasm for illicit profits. Sports fans from around the world, who’ve spent their hard-earned money to support their favorite NFL team, deserve to receive genuine, high-quality officially licensed merchandise in return.”

Trump Applauds Ice Agents for ‘Swinging’ at MS-13 Members

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump praised ICE agents for getting into fist fights while apprehending members of MS-13, a notoriously violent gang.

Trump’s remarks came at a campaign rally Tuesday in Wildwood New Jersey

“These ICE people, they love our country,” Trump said. “They’re proud and they’re tough people. They’ll go right into a pack, they call it a pack, and they start swinging and everyone’s swinging, and they end up standing up and that’s the end of that. You know what they do is they bring the MS-13 and many other gang members back to El Salvador, back to Honduras, back to Guatemala, back to Mexico.”
Trump said ICE agents for the “incredible abuse they take and the incredible job they do.”

Trump also accused Democrats of supporting “deadly sanctuary cities.”

“What the hell is going on?” Trump asked. “And once set loose, these criminal aliens are free to continue their crime spree against innocent Americans.”

Border Agents Find Liquid Meth inside Gas Tank of Chevy Truck Driven by American

Liquid meth found inside a gas tank. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP agents arrested a 36-year-old American citizen after finding 222 pounds of liquid meth hidden inside the gas tank of his Chevrolet Silverado at the Calexico East port of entry in California.

A CBP canine team alerted agents to the gas tank about 11 p.m. on Tuesday, CBP says in a news release.

When the gas tank was removed, agents found a strange liquid that was beginning to crystalize. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

“Drug trafficking organizations have one goal in mind, which is to get their product across,” Sergio Beltran, CBP officer in charge, says. “Concealing narcotics in gas tanks is one tactic and by utilizing our layered enforcement, we were able to stop this before it plagued our communities.”

The driver was arrested and turned over to ICE agents.

The meth has a street value of $266,000, CBP says.

ICE Deports Just a Tiny Fraction of the ‘Millions’ Trump Pledged in June

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants fell far short, it turns out.

New numbers released by immigration officials show the U.S. deported about 12,000 family members and unaccompanied minors in the last fiscal year, The Washington Post reports.

In June, Trump threatened large-scale arrests.

Here’s what actually happened: ICE removed more than 6,300 family members between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019, which is more than double the previous year.

ICE deported another 6,351 border-crossers who were unaccompanied minors, which is 14% higher than the previous year.

At a news conference Wednesday in Dallas, Acting ICE Director Matthew T. Albence said the operation to arrest families was “just the beginning.”

“We’ve removed more than double the family units,” Albence said. “And I suspect those numbers will go up this year as well as we continue to work these cases.”

Former ICE Director Homan Pledges to Run Against ICE Critic Sen. Gillibrand

Former ICE Director Thomas Woman.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Thomas Homan, who was President Trump’s first acting ICE director, pledged to run against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat and former presidential candidate who has suggested abolishing ICE.

Homan said he’s tired of listening to Gillibrand’s anti-ICE rhetoric and wants to remove her from her Senate seat.

“Let me just say this: When I do return to New York and Sen. Gilibrand is still around, she won’t be around because I’ll take her on,” Homan said on Larry O’Connor’s “Examining Politics” podcast.

Homan, who served as ICE director from January 2017 to June 2018, acknowledged he’s no longer a New York resident but would return to the state to run against Gillibrand.

Gillibrand became the first sitting senator to join the “Abolish ICE” movement in June 2019.  Since then, president candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said he also wants to abolish ICE.

Homan defended the agency and its agents, saying, “ICE are the good guys.”

Honduran Woman Claims ICE Agent Raped Her for 7 Years, Impregnating Her 3 Times

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Honduran woman living in Connecticut has accused an ICE agent of repeteadly raping and impregnating her for seven years, threatening to deport her if she didn’t do what he said, according to a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges ICE Agent Wilfredo Rodriguez impregnated her three times and raped her up to four times a week.

“My only comment is that my client had a choice, cooperate with ICE or be deported with her family,” George Kramer, the woman’s lawyer, said in an email to the Associated Press. “She remains in a very fragile psychological state. She is not only seeking compensation for the physical and emotional damage she suffered but to change the way those who are cooperating with ICE are treated by those in a position of power and who often wield total control over the ability to remain in the United States.”

ICE declined to comment on the case but said Rodriguez no longer works at the agency.

According to the lawsuit, Rodriguez met the woman in 2006 and began demanding she become an informant to help deport undocumented immigrants.

A year later, she says, Rodriguez raped her at gunpoint. That was the beginning of seven years of sexual assault, the lawsuit states. During that period, she was impregnated three times and had an abortion each time.

According to the suit, she attempted suicide four times.

When Rodriguez left the agency, he warned her that “she and her family would pay” if she told authorities what happened.

She finally came forward last year when her husband applied for asylum. She confided in an agent, who suggested she consult an attorney.

Trump Administration Wants to Collect DNA of Migrants for Massive FBI Database

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration wants to begin collecting DNA from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained near the Mexican border in an effort to compile a massive FBI database.

The Justice Department on Monday issued amended regulations that would require DNA collection for most migrants stopped by immigration officials near the border, NPR reports.

Under the proposed regulation, immigration officials would collect DNA information on nearly 750,000 migrants a year.

The new rule is subject to a 20-day comment period.

The idea is to add the biometric data to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.

“The proposed rule change would help to save lives and bring criminals to justice by restoring the authority of the Attorney General to authorize and direct the collection of DNA from non-United States persons detained at the border and the interior by DHS, with the ultimate goal of reducing victimization of innocent citizens,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement Monday.

Immigration rights groups criticized the proposal.

“It’s hard for me to believe that a woman who is on a journey of 1,000 miles in broken flip-flops with a two-year-old on her hip, doing everything she can and sacrificing everything … is going to be deterred by DNA collection,” said Henry Sias, a Philadelphia-based civil rights lawyer who represents asylum-seekers.