LOS ANGELES – A member of a transnational street gang wanted in his native country of El Salvador for aggravated homicide was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this week and turned over to authorities in that nation's capital.
Tarsis Dodamin Quintero–Sanchez, 40, was repatriated to El Salvador Wednesday aboard a removal flight chartered by ICE's Air Operations Unit. Quintero, a documented member of the 18th Street Gang, is named in a warrant issued by Salvadoran authorities in September 2007 charging him with murder and belonging to an illicit group, specifically the 18th Street Gang.
According to the warrant, the slaying occurred Sept. 16, 2007, in the Ciudad Delgado section of San Salvador. Authorities allege Quintero and two others fired nine shots at the victim, Oscar Oswaldo Reyes Alvarado, resulting in his death. The motive for the shooting is unknown.
Quintero's deportation caps a five–month effort by ICE's Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor to secure his removal. Quintero came into ICE custody in December 2011, following his conviction in Los Angeles County for vandalism. Since Quintero had been previously deported from the United States in 2000, ICE sought to reinstate his prior removal order. Quintero appealed the agency's action to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which dismissed the appeal in late April, paving the way for Quintero's deportation. While Quintero was in ICE custody awaiting a decision on his immigration case, Salvadoran consular representatives alerted the agency about the outstanding murder warrant.
"Five years after the crime occurred, this suspect undoubtedly believed he'd succeeded in eluding justice, but given our international cooperation, the reach of the law today is longer than ever before," said Timothy S. Robbins, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. "ICE will continue to use its unique immigration enforcement authorities and work closely with foreign governments to protect residents here and abroad from those who pose a threat to public safety."
"One of our top U.S. priorities in Central America right now is to help to improve the security situation in this region," said U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Sean Murphy. "El Salvador is one of our strongest partners in that fight, and this case shows why. Congratulations to both ICE and to the Salvadoran Police on a job well done."
In addition to his most recent conviction for vandalism, database checks indicate Quintero's criminal record in the United States includes two prior robbery convictions in 1993 and 1995.
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.