U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested 174 people in connection with child sex offenses and other sexual crimes in Arizona since July 2003 as part of the Operation Predator initiative, the federal agency announced over the weekend.
Overall, agents have made 4,045 arrests under the initiative. Arizona is among the states with the highest number of arrests. The highest was California with 1,115, followed by Texas with 376, New Jersey with 297, New York with 252 and Florida with 168.
Michael J. Garcia, Homeland Security assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, helped launch the operation with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
Those arrested under Operation Predator fall into four general categories: Foreign nationals accused of sex crimes that would make them removable from the United States, international child sex tourists, human smuggling and trafficking of children and internet child pornography.
To report suspicious activity, call (866) 347-2423, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ice.gov. Also, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a partner on Operation Predator, can be contacted at
(800) 843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.