Drug traffickers and money launderers take advantage of New Jersey’s well-developed infrastructure and proximity to New York City and Philadelphia. Street gangs in New Jersey are intimately involved in the sale of drugs, leading to high levels of violence, particularly in Camden. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has an active presence in the state to combat these crimes and reverse this trend.
In addition, the state had four percent of the country’s illegal aliens in 2012. As a result of ICE efforts, the manager of an international smuggling ring for aliens was sentenced to over four years in prison in 2013.
Becoming an ICE Agent in New Jersey
Those seeking ICE agent jobs in New Jersey must meet a number of requirements
Educational Requirements – Applicants must have either studied in graduate school for a year or else met specific requirements for distinctions in their bachelor’s degree program. This can include having one of the following GPA distinctions for all coursework, or in the final two years of the program:
- 3.0 for courses in their major
- 3.5 in all courses
Other ways to show the necessary distinctions during undergraduate studies include ranking in the top third of their class or having been elected to a national honor society.
Applicants who have prior experience in law enforcement or investigating crimes may be exempt from part of the educational requirement.
Training School – Recruits who have been accepted into the agency learn how to become ICE agents through paid training at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Georgia. They train in academics, physical conditioning, and firearms use. Training lasts for 22 weeks before graduates are assigned to work in the field.
Recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement Operations in New Jersey
Some Immigration and Customs Enforcement successes in New Jersey from 2013 are delineated below.
Stopping Terrorists – As a result of an ICE investigation, two men from New Jersey were prevented from traveling to Somalia to join a terrorist organization. The men had been training for years for their mission to establish Islamic law through violence. They were sentenced to decades in prison.
Stopping Narcotics Traffickers – ICE agents contributed to the arrest of 47 individuals who were involved in a violent trafficking ring. The organization worked with Mexican drug cartel members to sell millions of dollars a year of cocaine and heroin in North Camden. As a result of Operation North Pole, these individuals were charged with first degree racketeering.
Disrupting an MS-13 Clique – In a joint operation with the FBI and local authorities, ICE agents investigated an MS-13 clique that operated in several counties of New Jersey. As a result of these efforts, three former leaders were charged with racketeering and murder in 2013.
Disrupting Money Laundering – A large New Jersey bank agreed to pay $8.2 million for its role in laundering at least $1.5 billion. Despite warnings from the government about the potential for money laundering, the bank started servicing CDC (casas de cambio) currency exchanges in Mexico and the Dominican Republic in 2009.