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Federal Agents Arrest 43 Illegal Aliens

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal immigration officials said Friday they had arrested 43 illegal aliens, including 35 with criminal records, during a two-day sweep in Wake, Johnston and Harnett counties.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that 13 of the people arrested Wednesday and Thursday had been charged previously with driving under the influence, four had convictions for taking indecent liberties with children and one person had convictions for kidnapping, robbery and driving under the influence.

ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said the two-day effort was part of Operation Safe Streets, which began in April 2006 in Charlotte. The Fugitive Operations Team from ICE's Raleigh office carried out the sweep, the first in the Triangle, the agency said.

"Operation Secure Streets is an ongoing ICE initiative primarily designed to safeguard the public by identifying, arresting, and placing into removal proceedings individuals who pose a threat to the community and who have no legal right to remain in the country," ICE said in its statement.

The people arrested are from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Honduras, ICE said.

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