A three-day sting operation resulted in the arrest of 25 foreign nationals who, authorities say, preyed on children sexually in the Los Angeles area.
All of those arrested have prior convictions for sex offenses, and four of them have previously been deported, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced yesterday.
Eleven were found to be living in the country illegally. The other 14 were legal permanent residents but face deportation for their criminal convictions.
“These pedophiles pose a serious threat to the well-being of our children, our families and our communities,” said Robert Schoch, special agent-in-charge for the ICE office of investigations in Los Angeles, said in a statement. “We can not only take them off the streets, but we can seek to have them sent out of the country.”
Those arrested include:
- Jose Angel Pakas-Murcia, 46, a Honduran national deported in 1995 after serving time for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in Florida. He faces prosecution for re-entering the U.S. after deportation – a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
- Gabino Chavez-Rosales, a 43-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for lewd acts with a minor, also was arrested on suspicion of attempting to kidnap a girl playing in the parking lot of a laundry business. The Glendale resident faces deportation.
- Jose Luis Rodriguez-Lucatero, 41, who entered the country illegally from Mexico after his conviction for the attempted rape of a 15-year-old girl.
The arrests are the latest to be announced as part of Operation Predator. Since July 2003, the program has led to the arrest of more than 8,200 sex offenders nationwide.