28 arrested in Summit immigration sweep
Vail CO, Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” As part of an operation beginning June 20 that focused primarily on criminal immigrants, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency arrested 17 people in Summit County, as well as making five arrests in Carbon and Sweetwater counties in Wyoming.
The immigration sweep continued June 21 with 11 additional arrests in Summit County and five arrests in Moffat and Routt counties.
In all, 38 people were arrested; four females and 34 males, from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and the Czech Republic.
Two Summit County individuals were named by federal authorities. Julio Garcia Zurita was arrested at his residence in Dillon. Zurita was under a voluntary deportation order and had been convicted of disorderly conduct and posession of contraband, according to a press release from ICE.
Daniel Antonio Chinchilla-Giron was also arrested after being ordered back to El Salvador by a federal immigration judge in 2004. Chinchilla-Giron was convicted on counts of second-degree felony burglary, domestic violence, and invading privacy/wiretapping, according to ICE. The agency is currently working with the Summit County District Attorney regarding sexual assault and false imprisonment charges against Chinchilla-Giron from earlier this month.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said the recent enforcement action was part of a routine, ongoing crackdown on individuals who are under final deportation orders.
Officials with the Dillon Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said that, as of June 21, they hadn’t received official word of any immigration enforcement actions in the county.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Paulette Horr said the sheriff’s department was notified June 22.
“It sounds like they had a lot of their own people. I’m really surprised we didn’t hear anything before that,” Horr said, adding that, generally, ICE sets up their operations in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies.
Rusnok said Saturday he was sure Breckenridge was included in the operation.
Breckenridge police chief Rick Holman said he hadn’t heard of the sweep, and said he would be surprised to hear that ICE conducted enforcement actions without notifying local authorities in advance. He said that ICE may have called the Summit County dispatch center June 20 to let local authorities know that an operation was planned.
“This stuff causes a lot of ripples in the community. In the past, they (ICE) have been sensitive to our environment up here,” Holman said.
Holman said that, if the sweep included Breckenridge, he has a real concern that his department wasn’t notified.
“One of the things, since Sept. 11, is that we’re supposed to be improving communications between federal and local agencies,” Holman said. “It appears to me that didn’t occur in this case.”
Front Range immigration rights activists said Friday the sweep triggered a wave of concern in Summit County’s immigrant community. They planned to attend local church services Sunday.
The sweep was part of an effort to reduce the backlog of fugitive illegal immigrants, according to the ICE press release. The agency has beefed up its fugitive operations teams in recent years, form 18 in 2005 to 61 this year.
According to ICE, there are 632,189 fugitive illegal immigrants in the U.S. In 2006, ICE removed more than 17,000 fugitive aliens, and the agency is on its way to doubling that number this year.