Connecticut is a major transportation hub for southern New England with three interstate highways running through it. As interdiction efforts have intensified along the Southwestern border, international drug cartels have become more active in the Atlantic corridor. The Hartford/Springfield area in particular is one of the major drug hubs in New England.
Special agents of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in Connecticut have been highly active in fighting this trend. They scored a major success in December 2013 by leading a massive operation that resulted in the arrest of over 100 people who were involved with large scale drug trafficking and money laundering in New London.
Another high profile investigation by ICE in conjunction with the FBI resulted in the 2012 arrest of two British nationals in Connecticut who were actively recruiting people and obtaining supplies to aid terrorists in the Middle East.
Degree Requirements to Become an ICE Agent in Connecticut
Although there are a number of types of jobs available with ICE, people who seek to work in the field frequently apply to become criminal investigators, or special agents, of the agency. Many have previous experience as law enforcement officers or criminal investigators.
Applicants are required to have a year of education in graduate school or else meet high standards for their bachelor’s degree. This can include one of the following:
- Ranking in the top third of their class
- Having a B in all courses or a B+ in the courses for their major
- This can be either for all of the courses taken or in their final two years.
- Having been elected to a national honor society
Successful recruits are sent to Georgia to the Federal Law Enforcement Center for 22 weeks of paid training. This entails academic coursework, becoming proficient with firearms, and intense physical conditioning.
Connecticut residents who want to learn more about how to become an ICE special agent should contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the state. For Connecticut, this involves contacting the Boston Field Office at 617-565-3100.
ICE Operations in Connecticut
ICE special agents in Connecticut fight an array of illegal activity ranging from the disruption of drug trafficking to the disruption of child pornography operations.
Fighting Drug Traffickers – International drug cartels are increasingly working together to transport drugs into the New England region. Columbian drug traffickers in New York City have consolidated their efforts with their Mexican and Dominican compatriots to transport drugs into Connecticut and surrounding areas.
This has had a great impact on crime levels in Connecticut, since cartels work closely with local street gangs. The latter obtain most of their income from distributing drugs and have become increasingly prone to violence in recent years.
Investigators from ICE work closely with other law enforcement agencies to disrupt these activities. In addition to their notable success in late 2013, agents helped to arrest 45 people in 2012 in an operation targeting convicted criminal aliens who were involved in drug trafficking in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Arresting Child Pornographers – ICE is one of the premier agencies involved in the fight against child pornography that crosses national boundaries. Their efforts resulting in the following sentences in 2013 alone:
- A Connecticut man was sentenced to 17 years in jail for child pornography
- A former teacher in Connecticut received a sentence of over 10 years in federal prison for the sexual exploitation of children. His crimes included voyeuristically filming female students in his classes.