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Enforcement and Removal
01/26/2011

ICE aids in capture of international fugitives

Juan Carlos Henriquez Perdomo was a notorious, violent gang leader in El Salvador - wanted for crimes ranging from decapitation and dismemberment to murder and extortion. He made his way to New York where he wandered our streets, lived among us. This month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers removed him from the United States and placed him in the custody of law enforcement in El Salvador.

Henriquez Perdomo's story is not unique. Across the world, fugitives evade law enforcement by fleeing countries where they've committed crimes. Since August 2010, ICE's Fugitive Alien Removal Program has removed 27 individuals from the United States who were wanted overseas.

The removals are due in large part to improved cooperation with INTERPOL, the International Crime Police Organization. One hundred eighty-eight countries are INTERPOL members. They work with one another to disseminate information about wanted fugitives.

"INTERPOL has played a significant role in how ICE responds to and disseminates information about international fugitives," said Deputy Assistant Director of the Fugitive Operations Division John K. Crowther. "We think of it as a warning system that not only helps the United States, but a number of other countries as well. INTERPOL notices alert law enforcement agencies around the world that an international gang member or child predator may be seeking refuge in their country. That country can then monitor, and if appropriate, arrest the deported criminal alien for crimes committed. Additionally, these notices are a great tool for limiting the ability of a criminal to travel from one country to another."

In September 2010, ICE and INTERPOL initiated the first joint international fugitive enforcement operation called "Operation Far Away." Sixteen countries in the Western hemisphere participated in the operation targeting at-large INTERPOL foreign fugitives. The operation netted 30 arrests of individuals wanted for crimes ranging from human trafficking to political assassination. ICE's Fugitive Operations Team had a hand in 23 of them.

Learn more about ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team.