STILLWATER, Okla. – Stillwater police are addressing federal raids that happened at two restaurants on Wednesday, resulting in several people being taken into custody.
According to Stillwater police, the Department of Homeland Security served several search warrants in the city.
Officials told News 4 on Wednesday the warrants were served at Palomino’s and El Vaquero restaurants. Scott E. Williams, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Oklahoma, says a warrant was also served at a residence.
Police say the search warrants were the result of a criminal investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
During the search warrants from HSI, several undocumented immigrant adults were detained and brought to the Stillwater Police Department.
Stillwater police say HSI “returned the majority of the individuals to the location where they were contacted, within a few hours.” Those who were not released were taken into custody by HSI for federal violations.
The Stillwater Police Department said in part on Thursday:
“Several people took to social media and made inaccurate statements that “ICE” (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents were in town and “rounding up” immigrants and taking children into custody. The erroneous information spawned more social media post, which continued to distort the already incorrect information.”
Stillwater police say they regularly contact undocumented immigrants in the community and “do not treat these community members any differently than we do any other citizen. Undocumented immigrants who are victims are provided the same level of service and afforded the same resources as any other community member.”
Police went on to say:
“Misinformation posted on social media could result in undocumented members of our community being hesitant to call the police when they need help or assistance. Spreading misinformation places these members at an increased risk of being victimized and alienated from the services available to them through law enforcement and our community partners.”