Immigration agents take 2 into custody |

Immigration agents take 2 into custody

Staff report

Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took two parties into custody in a high-profile action in Basalt on Thursday.

The officers “took into custody two criminal aliens from Mexico, ages 39 and 20, who were encountered in Basalt,” the agency said in a statement. “The 39-year-old man has at least two convictions for driving while impaired; the 20-year-old man has at least five convictions for driving under revocation and has been classified under Colorado law as a habitual traffic offender. Based on their criminal convictions, they fall within ICE enforcement priorities. ICE has issued both men notices to appear before a federal immigration judge.”

One party was taken into custody after a routine traffic stop by an Eagle County deputy sheriff. The deputy pulled over a man driving near the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue. He was cited for driving while license is under revocation, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Jessie Mosher. After he was cited, he was taken into custody, Mosher said. Because of that ongoing investigation, she declined to release his name.

The intersection where the man was taken into custody is the major one in Basalt. Numerous people witnessed the operation and some took pictures with their mobile phone cameras, according to a witness.

At about the same time that officers swung into action at the downtown intersection, immigration officers were searching for another party at a residence on Homestead Drive, Knott said. They came in contact with the person outside and away from the residence and took the party into custody, he said. No agency assisted in that operation.

Officials with Homeland Security Investigations were in Basalt March 23 and 24 for reasons the agency won’t divulge. Agents staged both evenings in the parking lot of Orchard Plaza, where the El Jebel City Market is located. They weren’t observed undertaking any operation.

“HSI special agents were on site at that location regarding an ongoing operation,” a spokesman said March 24 in an email. “Since this is ongoing, no further details can be provided at this time.”

Immigration is wrapped within the Department of Homeland Security. It is unknown if the presence of Homeland Security Investigations at City Market in March was related to the operations in Basalt on Thursday.

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