Authorities in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Monongalia County, where it’s located, confirmed Friday afternoon that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had informed them they would be operating in the area.
While ICE officials have confirmed “routine targeted enforcement operations,” information on possible arrests and detainments is still unknown.
Morgantown Police spokesman Andrew Stacy said Friday the federal agency contacted local police last week about operations. Stacy said the notification did not provide details on the dates of operation.
Monongalia County Chief Deputy Al Kisner said ICE also contacted their department last week to notify them of activity in the area. He said ICE officials told the sheriff’s department they would be in the Morgantown area on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Officials from the Morgantown Police Department and Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department say they did not assist with any ICE operations this week. They said they have no knowledge of arrests or detainments in the area.
An ICE official confirmed that ICE conducted routine targeted enforcement operations in Morgantown, West Virginia this week and that the agency did provide notice to Morgantown and Monongalia County law enforcement authorities. That official also issued a statement about possible activity in the area.
“ICE is not currently conducting any large scale operations in Morgantown, however ICE does conduct targeted enforcement operations in compliance with federal law and agency policy every day in West Virginia and across the nation.”
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia says they have not been notified of any ICE activity in the area. They explained that should arrests be made, the office would be unable to offer comment until indictments have taken place.
A spokesperson from the office says the Northern District of West Virginia has prosecuted 19 defendants for immigration violations in Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018). 15 of those were guilty (some cases were still pending Sept. 30, 2018). Four if those 15 were sentenced to prison time. ICE would have determined the next step for the remaining 11.
From October 1, 2018-June 30, 2019, the northern district saw eight more defendants. Many of those cases are still pending.
This article was originally published by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.