BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Emmanuel Aboagye, a Ghanaian convict who ignored a judge's deportation order was among the first arrests by a new law enforcement unit dedicated to rounding up fugitive immigration violators, authorities said Wednesday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement's upstate New York Fugitive Operations Team began work Dec. 1 as part of Department of Homeland Security efforts to track down and deport fugitive aliens, particularly those with criminal records, said William Cleary, detention and removal director of ICE's Buffalo office.
"We're concentrating on the most serious (violators)," Cleary said, "sexual predators, people who are a danger to the community."
Arrested Tuesday in Rochester was Aboagye, 51, who had been ordered deported after being convicted of drug dealing, grand larceny, possession of stolen property and driving while intoxicated, according to ICE. Aboagye, who was arrested after a surveillance team determined where he was living, will be held without bond pending his removal from the country.
About eight officers in ICE's Buffalo field office, whose jurisdiction includes most of upstate New York, are now assigned full-time to fugitive apprehension, Cleary said. Money for the officers was included in the federal 2006 budget.
Homeland Security officials earlier this year announced plans to increase the number of ICE fugitive apprehension teams from 18 to 38.
During fiscal year 2005, Buffalo detention officers arrested 221 fugitives.