Nina Pineda, WABC (NY), Aug. 18
Authorities in New York City today went out in force, grabbing convicted sexual predators off the streets. They say many of those arrested may not even belong in the country.
Nina Pineda reports from Lower Manhattan.
These convicted child molesters were made a priority for deportation because of the risk they pose to the general public. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security characterized the individuals arrested as the worst of the worst.
The pedophiles were surprised by the federal agents who slapped handcuffs on 64 convicted sex offenders in total — 63 men, and one woman. They will now be deported back to 19 countries.
Martin Ficke, Department of Homeland Security: “When you look at the crimes they’ve been convicted of, it’s senseless and mind-boggling.”
The offenses — rape, sodomy, sexual abuse — all involve sex acts with children, most of the time their own. Sometimes the child of a family friend.
Hector Benitez, Immigration & Customs Enforcement: “There’s no description of a predator, he looks like you and I. He could be your nextdoor neighbor. There’s not a signal for predators.”
Operation Predator is a nationwide Homeland Security initiative with Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents in all 50 states protecting kids from criminal alien sex offenders. Twenty of the offenders were in this country illegally, 47 had green cards.
All were convicted, yet placed on probation. None served any jail time until now. They’re being held without bail, before being returned to their home countries.
John Ulianko, Immigration & Customs Enforcement: “I think it is a form of terrorism . . . how does the family members, when they find out about this. It is a form of terrorism, in which all law enforcement agencies have to combine and work together to make the homeland safe. And I think removing these peoples from the streets makes New York City, makes New York, makes the United States a little safer.”
The agents looked for 67 individuals today, and were able to arrest 64 people, and they have leads for two of the others. Except for a man named Kingsley Patterson, from Grenada. He is wanted for sexual offenses against a minor. Anyone with information is asked to contact with the ICE.