Warren man charged with vandalizing ICE building in Detroit

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Warren man was arrested Thursday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on charges of vandalizing government property with anti-ICE graffiti, authorities said.

The 30-year-old man appeared in Detroit federal court Thursday after a criminal complaint was filed by Homeland Security stating the man allegedly spray-painted words on a federal building sign. He was charged with depredation of government property and released on bond, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced Friday.

The ICE Enforcement & Removal Operations-Detroit Field Office building at 333 Mt. Elliott St.

The vandalism occurred at 7:53 p.m. on July 19. Authorities reviewed surveillance footage of a suspect taking out a can, which he shakes and spray paints the words "F--- ICE" on the ICE sign in front of its Mt. Elliot office. The suspect was seen placing the spray paint in a bag and walking away, according to court documents.

The video depicts two masked individuals approaching the building from Jefferson Avenue. One person, wearing all black, dropped a black backpack on the ground and walks away while another individual wearing a yellow reflective construction vest vandalized the sign, according to court documents.

ICE officials said the second suspect's arms were visible in the video and showed distinctive tattoos.

"Today’s arrest should send a strong message that acts of profane vandalism of federal property will not go unchallenged," ICE agent Keith Barwick said Thursday. "These appalling attempts to intimidate and disrespect the federal workforce serve no purpose and only further heighten our commitment to uphold the law."

A similar act occurred in June when the Michigan Republican Party headquarters in Lansing was tagged with the same graffiti as reports of planned illegal immigration raids in major U.S. cities circulated across the country.

This is the ICE Enforcement & Removal Operations-Detroit Field Office building in Detroit.

Rebecca Adducci, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office Director, said casting aspersions about ICE "only spreads fear in a community."

"Our officers do their jobs professionally, humanely, and treat those they encounter with dignity and respect," Adducci said in a statement. "It is unconscionable when those who have ideological or political beliefs that differ from the law, misdirect their attacks on ICE officers who are charged with upholding laws Congress has passed."

His preliminary examination is set for Oct. 24.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, officials said.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_