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April 15, 2021New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Dominican fugitive sentenced for assault on ICE deportation officer

NEW YORK – A federal judge in New York sentenced a Dominican national, Monday, to 45 months incarceration and three years of supervised release following his conviction for assault on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer.

On the morning of March 3, 2019, deportation officers from the ICE Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) New York Field Office attempted to arrest Christopher Santos-Felix, 29, at his residence in the Bronx.

Court documents show that Santos-Felix was initially cooperative as the deportation officers attempted to take him into custody. However, after the officers removed his handcuffs to allow him to put on an article of clothing, Santos-Felix pushed an officer before running into a bedroom. The fugitive operations team members followed him into the bedroom where he became assaultive and combative. During the commotion, Santos-Felix bit off the tip of the ring finger of one of the officers attempting to restrain him.

The deportation officer was treated at a local hospital for his injuries, and returned to full duty, several weeks later.

“This incident is a prime example of some of the dangers that ICE officers are exposed to when conducting targeted enforcement operations,” said Deputy Field Office Director Darius L. Reeves, ERO New York’s acting field office director. “It also serves as a reminder to unlawfully present criminals that deportation officers are federal law enforcement officers, and an assault on a deportation officer is a very serious crime that can result in hefty prison sentences.”

Upon the completion of his federal prison sentence, ICE will take custody of Santos-Felix to begin removal proceedings. Santos-Felix’s aggravated felony conviction for assault on a federal officer makes him a priority for removal.

Santos-Felix entered the U.S. legally, as a visitor for pleasure in June 2015, but failed to depart within the time allowed for his legal visit. He was convicted in 2016, in New York for driving while intoxicated.

In September 2018, Santos-Felix was arrested and charged in New York for third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation – apply pressure. On the day of that arrest, ICE lodged a detainer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), but the detainer was not honored, and he was released from NYPD custody.

ICE is now implementing the interim civil immigration enforcement priorities directed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus its limited resources on threats to national security, border security and public safety. ICE continues to carry out its duty to enforce the laws of the United States in accordance with the Department’s national security and public safety mission.

Updated: 04/15/2021