Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican man who had been convicted of a sex offense in the US after he illegally crossed the southern border in California, in another instance of criminals blending into the crowds of illegal migrants making their way into the country.
The 32-year-old man entered the US about 15 miles east of the Calexico Port Saturday morning, Customs and Border Patrol said in a statement.
He had been convicted in July 2009 for “annoying or molesting a victim under 18” in Los Angeles and was sentenced to three years probation.
The CBP said he is being held in federal custody pending a hearing.
The arrest comes just days after Border Patrol agents busted two men on who illegally entered the US in the same sector with sex crime charges.
The officers arrested a 39-year-old Mexican man 35 miles east of the Calexico Port at 7:58 Wednesday evening.
He had been convicted in July 2010 in Santa Ana, Calif., for having sex with a minor and was sentenced to 28 months in prison.
In April 2004, the man was convicted of transporting and selling narcotics and served a year in jail.
The second arrest happened at 9:33 p.m. Wednesday.
That man, a 55-year-old from El Salvador, had been convicted in March 2002 in San Mateo, Calif., for having sexual intercourse with a minor.
He was sentenced to two years in prison.
Border Patrol said the man’s rap sheet dates back to November 2000 when he was convicted on a narcotics possession charge and served two years in jail.
And in January 2004, the man was convicted on felony grand theft charges and sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Both men are in federal custody.
In fiscal year 2021, which began in October, Border Patrol agents in the El Centro Sector of Southern California have “arrested and/or removed” 16 individuals wanted or convicted on sexual offense charges.
The arrests are part of an increase in the number of migrants who were previously convicted of narcotics or sex crimes making their way across the border.
Brian Hastings, a Border Patrol agent overseeing operations in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, tweeted over the weekend that officers there arrested 861 immigrants who had criminal offenses, including 92 sex offenders and 63 who had gang ties.
In the San Diego sector, Border Patrol agents said they are on pace already this year to arrest more sex offenders this fiscal year than the previous year, according to a release from earlier this month.
The sector, which began tracking sex offender apprehensions in 2019, said in all of fiscal year 2020 agents busted 25 sex offenders.
Already this fiscal year, they have apprehended 25.
“I commend our agents for their steadfast protection of America,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke in a statement. “Apprehending predators like these makes our communities safer.”