As a central location between major population centers and international borders, Utah has long been a favored route for smuggling and clandestine illegal operations. ICE Agents come into the picture when federal laws relating to customs and immigration are violated, and in Utah this happens for cases involving everything from the interstate distribution of child pornography and gang activity to international smuggling and fraud schemes.
ICE Criminal Investigators must be able to cross from one unrelated investigation to the next, and are based at key locations throughout the state, including at the regional headquarters of an Enforcement and Removal Operations field office in Salt Lake City. ICE also maintains several detention facilities throughout the state, which by a recent count held the following inmates:
- Washington County Jail in Hurricane with 16 inmates
- Weber County Jail in Ogden with 51 inmates
- Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork with 198 inmates
Meeting the Minimum Requirements
To apply for ICE jobs, prospective agents will need to meet certain initial requirements. One of these is having a year of experience in law enforcement or criminal investigations. To fulfill this as well as an education prerequisite that requires a bachelor degree, candidates can study for a four-year degree in:
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Criminal Justice
- Police Science
- Law Enforcement
In addition to the requirement to have bachelor’s degree in any subject, prospective agents will also need to have either one of the following:
- One year of studies at the post-graduate level
- An academic distinction such as:
- Graduation in the top third of class or major
- 3.0 cumulative or final two years GPA
- 3.5 GPA in specific school program major
- Election to an upper-level national honors society
Application and Training
Once applicants can meet the education and experience requirements they will nearly be ready to submit an application for ICE Criminal Investigators through the federal USA Jobs website. However there are a few basic requirements that still must be satisfied:
- Ability and willingness to use a firearm
- US citizenship
- Being between the ages of 21-37, unless a federal law enforcement officer or eligible veteran
- Having no felony convictions
Once agents have made a successful application and are hired, they will receive all the necessary basic training for their new ICE careers over the course of 22 weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia.
ICE Missions in Utah
One of the reasons ICE Agents in Utah must have a background in education is because they need to have the mental capability to seamlessly switch from one task to another; the range of investigations Utah ICE Agents face can be extremely varied. Some recent examples include:
- A recent case heard in Salt Lake City where three men were accused of $54 million in fraud through a conspiracy and bribery scheme involving their company providing services for US military operations in Afghanistan.
- A West Valley City woman and three of her accomplices who were indicted on charges relating to the smuggling of Peruvian artifacts, after an undercover ICE Homeland Security Investigations operation.
- ICE recently spearheaded an operation against gangs in Utah, arresting 158 suspects on criminal charges and immigration violations over the course of a four-month multi-agency investigation.