ICE agents arrest 24 people across NC, including Charlotte, in latest operation

By: Tina Terry,
Updated: September 28, 2020 - 5:23 PM

CHARLOTTE — ICE arrested roughly 24 people in North Carolina during its latest operation, officials said Monday.

During a news conference, ICE officials said they targeted Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh last week, and made about two dozen arrests.

Channel 9 reporter Tina Terry rode along with agents as they made those arrests and was there as teams took several undocumented people with criminal charges and convictions into custody.


Last week, ICE agents brought in a total of 20 people. In about half of those cases, the suspects were in jail and ICE asked the arresting agencies to hold them until they could detain them -– but they told Channel 9 those agencies declined to do so. ICE officials said that puts their agents in danger.

ICE agents started at 4:30 a.m. to look for people who are unlawfully in the U.S., including Joe Ruiz-Quintero.

In June, police charged him with assault with a deadly weapon and sent him to the Mecklenburg County Jail.

ICE asked officials to hold Ruiz-Quintero so that they could pick him up but said he’s one of many that the sheriff’s office refused to hold.

“The decision to choose non-cooperation with ICE puts everyone in more dangerous situations,” said Henry Lucero, executive association director of Enforcement and Removal with ICE. “It’s senseless to not want to work with ICE. It’s senseless to release people onto the streets.”

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden sees it differently.

“It is not me releasing them,” McFadden said. “I’m ordered by a judge or a magistrate to allow these people to go. They have met all conditions of their bond, so I’m following judicial official’s signature and order.”

McFadden wants ICE to get a judge to sign warrants in those cases rather than honoring ICE detainers, which is an agreement between the agencies.

“If you bring me a signed document by a judge, a federal warrant, I will hold him, so that is the practice we should follow,” McFadden said.

Arrest details from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

Total arrests: 24

  • 20 Targets
  • 4 Collaterals

Arrests by Fugitive Operations Team/Area of Responsibility:

  • Charlotte: 12 (10 targets/2 collaterals)
  • Greensboro: 3 (2 targets/1 collateral)
  • Raleigh: 9 (8 targets/1 collateral)

Declined Detainer Arrests:

  • 1 Guilford County
  • 6 Mecklenburg County
  • 2 Wake County
  • 2 Durham County
  • No females arrested
  • No juveniles arrested
  • No Special Situation Aliens arrested
  • All arrestees had criminal charges/convictions

>> ICE broke down some of the dangers they say such decisions create for their agents and Tina will have much more those arrests made in Charlotte on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.

ICE Agents Make Arrests In Charlotte Area