Summit sweep raises questions |

Summit sweep raises questions

Bob Berwyn
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY “The lack of communication between federal and local officials before and during last week’s immigration sweep continues to be a concern for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Purely from the standpoint of officer safety, local law enforcement agencies need to know in advance when the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is conducting operations, said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Paulette Horr.

“All our people need to know,” said Horr.

Horr said Sheriff John Minor called the regional ICE office in Denver to follow up on the issue.

The ICE sweep was conducted between June 20 and June 22, resulting in at least 28 arrests in Summit County, with additional arrests in the wider region.

The operation targeted individuals who are under final deportation orders. But it’s not clear if all the individuals arrested in Summit County were in that category.

The arrests were part of a national crackdown aimed at reducing the number of fugitive aliens in the country, estimated at about 632,000 by the ICE.

Federal officials did make a call to Summit County Dispatch on June 20, the day the operation began, said ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok. But that information did not get out to all the local jurisdictions, suggesting there may have been a communication breakdown within the Summit County law enforcement community.

The Sheriff’s Office didn’t hear about the enforcement action until Friday, June 22, two days after the raid began, and Dillon Police Chief John Mackey also hadn’t heard about the immigration sweep as of June 21.

Horr said federal agents were transporting the arrested aliens to a parking lot near the Sheriff’s Office and holding them there for transport to the Park County jail without ever contacting local authorities.

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