SKOWHEGAN — Agents from the federal Homeland Security Investigations division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with Skowhegan police officers, conducted a search at a residence Tuesday morning on Rowe Road in Skowhegan.

Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam confirmed the agents’ presence Tuesday, as did Shawn Neudauer, public affairs officer at the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE and HSI spokesman for New England.

“As this matter concerns an ongoing criminal investigation no further public comment is available,” Neudauer said Tuesday in an email to the Morning Sentinel.

Neudauer said federal investigations fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and they usually restrict all public statements until the case goes to court.

“This case isn’t ready to be turned over to them yet, so there’s nothing more we can offer in the way of comment,” he said.

Bucknam said he could not comment further, either.

Rowe Road is in a largely rural area south of downtown Skowhegan, connecting Bigelow Hill Road with Back Road. It is known primarily for two maple syrup houses that are popular during sap season in the spring.

ICE enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative- and interior-enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

ICE has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries, according to its website. The agency has an annual budget of about $6 billion, primarily devoted to three operational directorates — Homeland Security Investigations, Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor. A fourth directorate — Management and Administration — supports the three operational branches to advance the ICE mission.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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