How to Become an ICE Agent in Indiana

There were an estimated 110,000 illegal immigrants in Indiana in 2010.  With numbers of this size, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents in Indiana stay busy investigating crimes involving criminal aliens, including those who obtain forged documentation.

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Indiana’s robust highway system includes seven interstates and twenty US highways. Cartels are known to exploit this infrastructure to bring drugs into and through the state from Chicago and from Mexico via the Southwestern border, but ICE agents in Indiana are working closely with local and other federal agencies to combat this trend.

Drug distribution and abuse is particularly acute in Northern Indiana, especially in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago.  The federal government considers the situation severe enough to have declared Lake and Porter counties to be a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

Street gangs from Chicago spill over into Indiana and are responsible for most of the retail drug distribution in the area.  Gang members from Lake County supply firearms to their associates in Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee, contributing to the levels of violence in those cities.  Still – they are no match for the ICE anti-gang unit, which is active in Indiana.

Steps to Becoming an ICE Agent in Indiana

ICE has high standards for those who would become criminal investigators, or special agents, for the agency.

Experience – A number of applicants have prior experience investigating crimes or in other types of law enforcement activity.  Having this type of background can help to substitute for some of the rigorous educational requirement.

Education – To become an ICE special agent, the requirements include either a year of graduate study or having met high performance standards in a bachelor’s degree program.  This can include one of the following:

    • A B+ in the coursework for his or her major
      • Either for the full four years or the latter two


  • A B in all of the coursework
    • Either for the full four years or the latter two
    • Election to a national honor society
    • A rank in the top third of his or her class

General Requirements – In addition, there is a citizenship requirement:  applicants must be US citizens.  Although the following requirement can be waived for veterans, applicants must also be younger than 37.

Applicants who have met these requirements can apply for ICE special agent jobs in Indiana when openings are posted here.  Before being hired, applicants are rigorously screened and undergo a full background check.

Training – Recruits start their careers at the Federal Law Enforcement Center (FELC) in Georgia.  They receive 22 weeks of paid training at this institution in such areas as academics, physical conditioning, and firearms training.

Local Contact – The agency encourages individuals who live in Indiana and want more information on how to become an ICE agent to contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the state.  They can be reached at 630-574-4600.

ICE Operations in Indiana

Special agents from ICE fight a number of different types of crimes in Indiana and have been successful at bringing a variety of criminals to justice.  Some of the prominent cases from 2013 are described below.

Combating Prostitution – As the result of a joint investigation by ICE and the FBI, a woman from Chicago was extradited to the US from Hong Kong to face charges that she operated a prostitution ring out of massage parlors in the northwestern part of the state.

Disrupting Gang Activity – ICE agents were part of a large multi-agency team that resulted in the conviction of six members of the Latin Kings gang for racketeering.  Members of this gang have been associated with over 20 murders in addition to their role in drug trafficking.  Some of these murders took place in Indiana, and a Texas leader of the gang was sentenced in Hammond, Indiana to nearly 22 years in prison.

Stopping Child Pornographers – ICE is very active in tracking down child pornographers.  Their activities resulted in a number of arrests in Indiana in 2013.  In one case in particular, agents identified a man who had administered an active child pornography bulletin board. An Indianapolis court sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

 Ending Documentation Fraud –  Four individuals from Indianapolis and one from Goshen were convicted as a result of an ICE and USPS operation called Title Check.  To avoid BMV scrutiny, these individuals used sham liability companies to register the cars of illegal aliens, so they could avoid detection.