Atlanta ICE officers arrest nearly 80 in summer operation

Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Atlanta Field Office arrested 77 people during an operation in July and August.

"All of our operations that we do are targeted enforcement operations.  So. we're not out there randomly knocking on doors or pulling cars over. ICE does not conduct raids or sweeps," explained ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Thomas Giles in an exclusive interview with FOX 5.

The Atlanta office's territory includes Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Of the people arrested, about a third were in Georgia, Giles said.

"We really focused on domestic violence-related offenses. So, a lot of the individuals that were arrested here in the greater Atlanta area had convictions for aggravated assault, assault, cruelty towards children, sexual exploitation of children, to name a few," said Giles.

One of those arrested was Juan Cabrera-Vial, 39, of Guatamala. ICE officers found him in Canton.

Chamblee Police arrested Cabrera-Vial in May 2019 for allegedly breaking into his ex-wife's apartment and assaulting her and her niece with a machete. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, terroristic threats and home invasion.  

According to the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, Cabrera-Vial's case remains open and has not yet been indicted.

Giles said ICE is currently keeping their detention centers at less than 70% capacity to allow for social distancing inside the facilities.  

"We've really focused on the individuals that we're going to go after and the individuals that we're going to detain in custody," said Giles. "We're really focusing on the worst of the worst--the threats to public safety."

ICE officers conducted similar operations in Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles and Fairfax, Va. in August.