Being located between Chicago and New York City has made Michigan a corridor for important drug trafficking routes. In addition, the proximity of Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, has made it a target of Canadian drug traffickers. Drug trafficking is at such high levels in Michigan that the state has its own HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) designation. The violence associated with drug trafficking and abuse contributes to high levels of crime in Michigan, particularly in Detroit, Saginaw, and Flint.
Major entry points for drugs imported from Canada are the Ambassador Bridge, Michigan Central Railway Tunnel, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. In addition, over 2 million watercraft are registered in Michigan and Ontario, making drug distribution along the maritime border a continuing problem.
Preparing to Become an ICE Agent in Michigan
Those seeking careers as special agents (criminal investigators) with ICE must meet a number of requirements. These include the following:
- Being younger than 37 (Veterans may be exempt from this)
- Having had a year of graduate school or having met one of the following measures of a bachelor’s education:
- A B+ in the courses for their majors (full duration or final two years)
- A B in all of their courses (full duration or final two years)
- A rank in the top third of their class
- Having been elected to a national honor society
- Being a US citizen
Applicants who have previous experience as criminal investigators or in other types of law enforcement can use their background to substitute for part of the educational requirement.
Recruits undergo 22 weeks of paid training in Georgia at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy (FELC). During this period they take courses, get in top physical condition, and learn to use firearms proficiently.
Residents of Michigan who want to learn more about becoming an ICE agent should contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the state. Michigan’s SAC is located in Detroit and can be reached at 313-226-0500.
Important ICE Operations to Take Place in Michigan
Special agents of ICE carry out a number of types of different operations in Michigan to thwart an array of different types of criminal activity. Some of the types of crimes that have been solved by ICE special agents in Michigan in 2013 are shown below.
Drug Smuggling from Canada – ICE launched the Detroit BEST (Border Enforcement Security Task Force)—a 17-member agency group that fights crime along the Michigan-Canadian border. While this task force has obtained a number of convictions in the US, in 2013, it obtained its first Canadian conviction.
A man from Toronto was caught trying to smuggle marijuana from Windsor into Detroit. His latent fingerprints were on the package, and they were matched with a print in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s database.
Immigration Fraud by a Terrorist – A woman who had helped to blow up the British Consulate and a supermarket in Jerusalem had obtained US citizenship by omitting her role in these crimes from her application. An ICE investigation uncovered this information, thus leading to her arrest for immigration fraud.
Human Trafficking and Slavery – A Ypsilanti man was sentenced to over 11 years for human trafficking. He had brought four minors from Togo with false documentation that they were his biological children. The man had used force to keep them the children working at domestic labor, and he was ordered to pay over $130,000 in restitution to them.