ICE Arrests 5,000th Predator

Assistant Secretary Michael Garcia, second from right, is joined by U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), left, Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), second from left, and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), right, during the announcement that ICE’s arrests of predators have reached 5,000.

ICE Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ICE) — More than 5,000 individuals have been arrested as part of the ICE’s “Operation Predator” initiative launched just 20 months ago.

Assistant Secretary Michael Garcia announced the milestone in an event held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 5. He was joined in the announcement by U.S. Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

“These results are unprecedented in law enforcement,” said Garcia. “Whether the criminal is a U.S. citizen who thinks they can travel overseas to molest children, a pornographer who trades in images of child sexual abuse, or a foreign national who has lost the privilege to remain in the United States because of a crime against a child, ICE will identify, arrest, and, where possible, remove them.”

The 5,000th individual arrested was Ukrainian national Mikhail Kleyman, a 68-year-old Solon, Ohio, resident. In July 2004, police officers responded to a report that an adult male had inappropriately touched a 13-year-old mentally challenged girl at a community swimming pool. Two people witnessed the incident and officers arrested Kleyman at the scene.

On Dec. 15, 2004, Kleyman was convicted of attempted gross sexual imposition and sentenced to probation. Subsequently, ICE agents arrested Kleyman and began the process to deport him. Kleyman is currently in ICE custody.

Operation Predator evolved out of ICE’s mission to find and deport illegal aliens — particularly those with criminal records — and reflects the agency’s traditional public safety mission. But in addition to cases like Kleyman’s of foreign nationals whose crimes render them deportable, Operation Predator also targets those who commit other crimes of exploitation against children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists and Internet pornographers.

“It is,” Garcia said, “only through the teamwork and resolve of state, local and international law enforcement and organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, World Vision, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network that we have been able to successfully pursue those who view cyberspace as another playground to stalk.”

The top 10 states for Predator arrests, in alphabetical order, are Arizona (185), California (1,317), Colorado (125), Florida (189), Illinois (209), Michigan (128), Minnesota (147), New Jersey (369), New York (317) and Texas (448).

Operation Predator arrests fall into four general categories: Foreign National Child Predators; International Child Sex Tourists; Human Smuggling And Trafficking Of Children; and Internet Child Pornography.

Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. Investigators staff this hotline around the clock.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.