A weeklong action dubbed “Operation Return to Sender” has resulted in the arrests of 163 illegal immigrants in Lee and Collier counties. The operation involved local sheriff’s departments and U-S Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or ICE. Operation “Return to sender” was aimed primarily at illegal immigrants who had ignored deportation orders and were on the lam. Twenty-six of the people detained had previously been convicted of violent crimes. Robert Weber of ICE was the special agent in charge.
“We have zero tolerance for these individuals who terrorize our community and we will use every law enforcement tool available to protect the law abiding citizens of our country”
The people arrested come from 11 different countries - primarily the Caribbean and Latin America. About sixty percent of the arrests happened in Collier County – with the rest in Lee. It’s estimated there are nearly a million illegal foreign nationals living in Florida.
Sheriff’s deputies from Lee and Collier Counties joined forces last week with agents from U-S Immigration and Custom Enforcement to arrest illegal aliens. At a press conference Monday in Naples – they announced “Operation Return to Sender” netted 163 arrests. Twenty six had previously been convicted of violent crimes. And Collier Sheriff Don Hunter says illegals are having a big impact on crime in his county.
“We looked at our jail – we determined that on the average and in the main we’re running about 22 to 26 percent of our jail population is foreign nationals, illegally present, self admitted – illegally present in the united states.”
Furthermore Hunter says, out of 17 outstanding warrants for murder, at least 10 suspects are also foreign nationals. 84 of the people arrested were dubbed criminals by virtue of violating immigration laws. Operation “Return to Sender” was the largest number of arrests ever made by federal immigration authorities in Southwest Florida.
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:00
Operation Return to SenderWritten by WGCU Newsroom