SEATTLE – A 34-year-old Jamaican national wanted in his native country for murder was removed Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers and turned over to authorities in that nation's capital.
Carlington David Richards was repatriated to Jamaica aboard an ICE air charter flight under escort by ERO officers. Richards, who is a former police officer, was charged with homicide by Jamaican authorities in 2011. He fled to the United States days before his court appearance. ERO officers received an Interpol lead regarding the outstanding murder warrant, which subsequently led to Richards' capture in March. He was arrested by ERO officers at a motel in Federal Way on charges of overstaying a visitor visa.
"ERO officers are dedicated to ensuring the United States isn't a safe haven for criminal aliens," said Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director for ERO Seattle. "Removing those who pose a threat to public safety is a top enforcement priority for ICE."
Richards was one of 43 illegal aliens arrested in Washington state during Operation Cross Check, ICE's nationwide sweep for criminal aliens. The six-day operation at the end of March netted more than 3,100 criminal aliens across the country.
Richards entered the U.S. in late 2011 through Miami on a visitor visa, which was expired at the time of his arrest.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 335 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.