ICE transfers detainees out of Oklahoma due to conditions in Okmulgee County facility

OKMULGEE COUNTY, Okla. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 17 of their detainees out of the Moore Detention Facility in Okmulgee Friday. ICE confirmed to FOX23 since Monday, they already removed 40 other detainees from the facility.

On May 23, 2022, ICE immediately activated the process to transfer detainees for their health and safety.

The Moore Detention Facility is run by the Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority (OCCJA) and operates under an ICE Intergovernmental Services Agreements (IGSA), so ICE detainees were housed there prior to this removal.

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ICE released this statement to FOX23 about its decision to remove their detainees from the facility:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is committed to ensuring that all those in our custody reside in safe, secure, and humane environments and under appropriate conditions of confinement. ICE will take appropriate and swift action when a detention facility does not meet these requirements. ICE has determined that the Okmulgee County Jail – Moore Detention Facility (MDF) does not meet ICE requirements; therefore, ICE is immediately transferring all detainees from the MDF to the Prairieland Detention Facility in Alvarado, Texas.”

Based on findings of a Nakamoto annual inspection in October 2021, ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) compliance inspection in December 2021 and the Nakamoto reinspection report received on May 23, 2022, ICE has determined that the Moore Detention Facility is not an appropriate detention setting for ICE detainees.

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The ICE detainees were transported from Okmulgee County under ICE personnel supervision.

After the removal of ICE detainees, the agency will not pay OCCJA for daily rates for the beds they used in the facility.

ICE is reviewing its options related to the future of its agreement with the OCCJA.

FOX23 made multiple phone calls to the leadership of OCCJA for a response. OCCJA’s Public Information Officer Christopher Cook stated in a phone call Wednesday inquiring about detainees that this was not happening. He has not returned further calls or an email requesting a response.

FOX23 will continue to keep you updated. Download the FOX23 News app for updates.