ICE operations in King City & Watsonville

Several people possibly detained

ICE operations in King City -...

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. - UPDATE 9/13/2017 5:50 p.m.:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were back on the Central Coast Wednesday.

Both King City and Watsonville police confirm ICE officers contacted them early Wednesday morning, letting them know federal officers would be in the area conducting “specifically targeted enforcement actions,” as part of its daily operations.

Several people may have been taken into custody, but ICE would not confirm that, or who they were looking for or why.

"If they're (ICE) requesting our assistance, we assist for emergency basis and they notify us if they're doing an operation just in case something happens," King City Police Chief Robert Masterson said.

Officers did not participate in any operations but did get inquiries. 

"We did get a few calls from family members asking for information about people that were taken into custody and we said it wasn't our operation, it was ICE’s operation," Masterson said.

Watsonville police said ICE told them about operations on the 400-block of E. Lake Avenue and the 200-block of Alvarado Street. They say they were given the locations to keep people safe.

"If somebody sees a van pull up, there's armed people jumping out of the van and call 911 we know what's going on, we can tell them it's okay,” Watsonville Sgt. Brian Ridgway said. “On the same note, if an officer is on patrol and sees bunch of armed people walking onto a house we know that they're there it's not a surprise for us."

Watsonville police say they do not know who ICE was looking for, or if anyone was detained because they did not participate in the operations. 

However it brought back memories of what happened earlier this summer, when ICE conducted a major operation on the Central Coast and the Central Valley. 54 people were arrested, 25 of them in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. Seven were arrested in King City.

It’s a fresh memory for Irene Gonzalez, whose field supervisor told her to not go out. 

"A while ago, they said the same thing, saying that immigration officials were in town,” Gonzalez said. “So, they ended up taking some people that I know that were either on their way to work or coming home from work."

While she said she isn’t afraid, others are. 

"We always have that fear if they're going to be there or not," Inez Diaz said.

"If they come just for the criminals, ok,” one woman said. “But what happens to the family? Like there's another family in there, they're like, ‘Are you undocumented? If you are, I'm taking you with me.’"



ICE agents conducted operations on the Central Coast Tuesday night and several people might have been detained, according to King City and Watsonville Police.

Chief Robert Masterson said his department was informed by the federal agency that it would be in town and would call if agents needed emergency assistance. That did not happen. Chief Masterson said his officers did not participate in the operation.

ICE didn't inform the King City Police Department if anyone was detained, according to Masterson. However, his department has received calls from three different families asking for information.

Watsonville Police Department said ICE agents were also in town Tuesday night. 

KION's Mariana Hicks will have the details at 5 and 6 p.m. 

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