Homeland Security’s largest investigative division, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has an important presence in Virginia. ICE Criminal Investigators, commonly known as ICE Agents, conduct undercover and overt investigations into a wide variety of criminal activities that can range from violations of arms exports, to marriage fraud, to child pornography.
Virginia is home to several important Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation and detention centers.
Important ICE facilities in Virginia include:
- Special Agent in Charge Field Office in Fairfax
- Enforcement and Removal Field Office in Fairfax
- Three ICE Detention Facilities
- Farmville Field Office holding 341 inmates
- Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth holding 349 inmates
- Rappahannock Regional Facility in Stafford holding 206 inmates
All of these resources in the state combine to foster rewarding ICE careers for candidates who are up to the challenge. Taking the time to research how to become an ICE Agent in Virginia is the first step in this direction.
Initial Steps to Qualify for ICE Jobs
In addition to meeting initial qualifications like being a US citizen, having no felony convictions, and being between the ages of 21-37 with exceptions for veterans and federal police, prospective ICE Agents also need to meet both an education and an experience requirement.
Before applying, candidates must have at least one year of experience with law enforcement and criminal investigations. This can be obtained at the same time prospective applicants are fulfilling the education requirement to have a bachelor degree by studying an academic school program such as:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Police Science
- Crime Scene Investigation
As for education requirements, besides having a bachelor’s degree, ICE Agents are required to also have one of the following two distinctions:
- At least one year of coursework at the master’s level
- At least one proof of academic excellence:
- Graduation in the top 33rd percent of class or major
- Membership in a non-freshman nation honors society
- 3.0 GPA in the final two years of study or as a cumulative total
- 3.5 GPA in the major area of focus
Training and Working in Virginia
Once new ICE Agents have been hired they will begin 22 weeks of basic training before receiving their first assignment. Initial training for ICE careers is focused on skill development that agents will use for the rest of their lives in subjects such as law, suspect apprehension, and documentation.
If they are assigned to Virginia, ICE Criminal Investigators will find they will have many different types of cases to work on. Unique to Virginia is a recent emphasis on intellectual property cyber crimes, with ICE Agents conducting several high-profile operations in a recent year’s span. In Arlington, as part of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI recently reaffirmed their partnership with the National Association of Theater Owners and the Motion Picture Association of America to combat movie bootlegging, illegal recordings, and unauthorized distribution over the internet, with recent activities including:
- An Alexandria case that saw a man plead guilty to copyright infringement after ICE Agents acting as part of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center gathered enough evidence for charges relating to his selling of pirated computer software over the internet.
- Another organized cyber crime ring that was recently busted when two members of an organization which aimed to release movies only in theaters to the public via the web were sentenced in Norfolk. ICE Agents uncovered the scheme which involved using clandestine video and audio recording equipment while in a movie theater.