ICE: 16 arrested in Whatcom County ‘criminal investigation’

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 16 people around Bellingham in what they described as an ongoing criminal investigation.

The Bellingham Herald reports that ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and the U.S. Border Patrol conducted an enforcement operation on Aug. 29.

ICE public affairs officer Carissa Cutrell said Wednesday that 16 people were arrested.

Cutrell says the operation was related to an ongoing criminal investigation and no additional information was available.

Last week’s action is believed to be the largest series of arrests by ICE in Whatcom County since a February 2009 raid at the Yamato Engine Specialists in Bellingham, when agents arrested 28 workers who were accused of being in the country illegally.