U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a sub-unit of ICE, is running desperately away from its primary responsibility, the enforcement of immigration and customs laws. It has assigned itself the primary duty of enforcing State laws against child molestation and internet child pornography. Two recent cases show just how far from its primary duties ICE is running.
First from Modesto, CA:
The Modesto Bee March 13, 2012
A 36-year-old Modesto man learned just how small the cyberworld can be after federal authorities arrested him over the weekend on suspicion of the sexual exploitation of children.
Timothy Valdez appeared Monday in federal court in Fresno after admitting that he was the person in an explicit child pornography video posted on the Internet. The story follows an intriguing path, beginning when officials in Denmark found the video — made in three segments — online during an investigation last year. The video contained graphic and explicit evidence of sexual abuse of young boys.
"This is a textbook case of cooperation," said Mike Prado, HSI's supervising special agent in Fresno. "We constantly share information with our foreign counterparts."
While the Modesto case had some international connection, it was just that the Danish police viewed the crime online, neither the perpetrator or victim were overseas, aliens or otherwise in the jurisdiction of an agency that enforces immigration and customs laws. But there was even less an international connection for ICE to involve itself in this case:
NBC Connecticut March 30, 2012
A member of the Windsor Board of Education was arrested in Florida, accused of traveling to Florida to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Christopher Watts, a 38-year-old husband and father, was arrested in Florida on Thursday night and charged with attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity via the Internet.
Police said he connected with an undercover officer posing as the father of a 14-year-old girl in a chatroom and thought he was arranging to have sex with the teen.
Using the screen name "luvpervymoms," Watts responded to a post in a chat room that said "dad has daughter" and told the undercover officer that it was a “big fantasy” of his to have sex with a 14 year-old, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The undercover officer typed that he "shared his daughter with a select group of friends" and Watts made arrangements to travel to Florida for sex with the girl, the criminal complaint states.
Watts traveled to Brevard County, Florida, rented a silver Mustang convertible and was arrested at his hotel, police said...
Federal authorities said he was arrested on Thursday night after arriving in Orlando.
He was making his first court appearance Friday and Friday, Windsor police were at his house.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is investigating.
Even more interesting, ICE decided to outsource child porn crimes by its own employees to the FBI which is in contrast to the old days of the legacy INS and legacy USCS when agency employees who committed immigration or customs violations were investigated and charged. But not now, they leave child porn to the FBI.
CNN September 28, 2011
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for south Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.
"According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct," the statement said. "The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period."
Mangione was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Clearly ICE is an agency in search of a mission, even though it has a mission assigned by law. But they just don't want to do immigration law enforcement.