OGDEN -- Four people were arrested in the Top of Utah and 16 elsewhere in Utah as part of a nationwide sweep by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The seven-day national "Cross Check" operation led to the arrest of more than 2,900 illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds nationwide, according to a prepared statement from ICE.
Of the 20 arrested in Utah, three were from Ogden and one was from Clearfield. ICE did not release information about the identities of those arrested and specific charges they face.
Steven Branch, field office director of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in Salt Lake City, said the operation succeeded in taking dangerous criminals into custody.
"We are trying to make our streets safer," he said Wednesday in a phone interview.
The operation was the largest of its kind and involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from all 24 ICE field offices, as well as coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States.
Arrests occurred in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.
All of the 2,901 individuals taken into custody had prior criminal convictions, and at least 1,282 had multiple criminal convictions.
More than 1,600 of those arrested had felony convictions including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault.
Of those arrested, 42 were gang members, and 151 were convicted sex offenders.
In addition to being convicted criminals, 681 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart, according to ICE.
Additionally, 387 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country multiple times.
Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 146 of those arrested were presented to U.S. attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, according to ICE.