WASHINGTON — A Salvadoran national wanted in El Salvador for aggravated homicide was deported by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, and turned over to the El Salvador Policía Nacional Civil (PNC) at the San Salvador international airport.
Juan Adalberto Serpa-Flores, 36, was previously removed from the United States in 2009. In May 2010 the National Civil Police of El Salvador obtained an arrest warrant charging Serpa with aggravated homicide. In December 2010 Serpa illegally re-entered the U.S.
In January 2014 Serpa was encountered and held by Montgomery County Police Department in Montgomery County, Md. On March 14, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia convicted Serpa for illegal re-entry after deportation and sentenced to time served. On April 4, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Serpa based on the active warrant issued in El Salvador for the aggravated homicide in 2010.
"This removal should serve as a reminder to foreign fugitives who think they can elude justice by fleeing to the United States," said M. Yvonne Evans, field office director for ERO Washington, "ICE works closely with our foreign law enforcement partners to ensure that criminals are held accountable for their actions and to safeguard the rights of law-abiding citizens here and overseas."
This most recent repatriation is another example of expanded bi-national cooperation to identify, arrest and repatriate Salvadoran criminal suspects who have fled to the United States to avoid prosecution. ICE officers work closely with the Policía Nacional Civil (PNC), the Salvadoran National Interpol Office and Salvadoran immigration as part of this effort.
In fiscal year 2013, ICE returned 160 criminals with active arrest warrants from the PNC to El Salvador via ICE removal flights. Many of those arrested were accused of homicide-related charges or other violent crimes.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 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 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.