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LOWELL -- A dozen people across Lowell were arrested on immigration-related federal warrants during a 26-hour span ending last night.
The spate of arrests began Monday at about 6:40 p.m., and concluded with an arrest Tuesday night at about 8 p.m., according to police arrest logs.
Lowell police referred questions about the arrests to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, where spokesman Paula Grenier would say only that all the arrests targeted "specific individuals," all of whom had prior criminal records.
More than half of those arrested had previously been arrested in Lowell, including one man, identified as Dang Sy, 28, of 25 Dover St., who had previously faced home invasion and drug-trafficking charges in Lowell, according to previous arrest logs.
Officials from ICE, including the agency's regional director, Bruce Foucart, were in Lowell in March to address the city Race Relations Council and ensure residents that ICE agents do not set out on random sweeps for immigrants. That news was meant to assure local immigrants that they would not be targeted for immigration enforcement if they reported a crime or were simply going about their daily business.
"We do not do willy-nilly stops on the side of the road," Foucart told the council. "Our focus is on investigating and prosecuting criminal investigations."
The statements made before the council seemed to hold true with the arrests this week, with all 12 people being arrested on warrants which would have been obtained from a federal court prior to the arrests. All those arrested on the warrants were held without bail and turned over to the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office, which typically houses local prisoners held on federal charges.
In addition to Sy, those arrested were Chanvesna Pech, 27, of 106 Westford St., unit 3; Sokon Cheurm, 28, of 30 Angle St., unit 45; Chamroeun Mao, 26, of 34 S. Loring St., first floor; Song Sao, 28, of 132 Mt. Washington St., third floor; Sarin Chhoeun, 25, of 4 Glidden Ave.; Torn Kim, 28, of 28 Leverette St.; Vicheth Ang, 29, of 135 Franklin St., fifth floor, Stoneham; Soknon Chan, 25, of 46 Canton St.; Thy Toch, 36, of 119 Warwick St.; Sacha Tang, 27, of 62 S. Walker St.; and Chan Chum, 31, of 22 Claire St., unit 2.
It was not immediately clear when the suspects would appear in federal courts.
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