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Agency to ensure Brit molester goes home

Citizen Staff

The man is freed from prison into the arms of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

By LUKE TURF

lturf@tucsoncitizen.com

Darren Kerry came to the United States from the United Kingdom and got a job coaching girls soccer in Oro Valley.

Then in December, Kerry, 30, was convicted of molesting a 15-year-old girl.

Yesterday he was released from prison into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who will see that the Briton leaves the United States, said Chuck Vesely, a special agent with ICE in Tucson.

Kerry is one of 46 people arrested on suspicion of sex crimes in the past year in Tucson who were caught during ICE’s Operation Predator, aimed at stopping noncitizen criminals who prey on children sexually, said Lisa Fairchild, a supervisory agent with ICE.

Most of those snared are foreigners – some Americans are caught during the investigations – and the agency is working to make sure they stay off U.S. streets, Fairchild said.

“Everywhere you turn, these people are, or that’s as it seems when you’re investigating it, and we’re getting really good at investigating it,” Fairchild said.

Many noncitizen sexual offenders escaped notice before the federal government started taking a larger role in their releases a year ago.

Now ICE checks a list of sex offenders against a list of noncitizens living in the country to make sure people such as Kerry return home.

One year into Operation Predator, more than half of the 3,200-plus arrests nationwide involved noncitizens. In Arizona, 162 were arrested.

“If you’re exploiting a child, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not, we’re going to get you,” Fairchild said.

When the government merged two agencies into ICE with the creation of the Homeland Security Department after 9/11, it put one agency in charge of monitoring noncitizen sex offenders and dealing with Internet child porn and sexual exploitation of minors overseas.

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