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February 7, 2023Atlanta, GA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Atlanta apprehends one of Ecuador’s most wanted criminals in South Carolina

ATLANTA — Deportation officers from Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta arrested an Ecuadorian fugitive listed as one of the country’s 100 most wanted criminals. Officers apprehended Cesar Condor Vaca, 29, during a targeted operation in Greenville, South Carolina, on Jan. 30.

The assistant attaché in Ecuador notified ERO Atlanta that Condor Vaca was wanted by Ecuadorian authorities for femicide.

ERO Atlanta and agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division worked together to confirm Condor Vaca’s presence and arrange for his safe arrest, avoiding potential danger to innocent bystanders.

An ERO assessment revealed Condor Vaca legally entered the United States on March 15, 2021, and failed to depart as required. ERO Atlanta officers served him with a Notice to Appear, and he will remain in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody pending removal proceedings.

“Foreign fugitives who flee criminal prosecution in their home country will not find safe haven in the United States,” said ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Ervin. “Our immigration officers work closely with their state and local counterparts and are uniquely trained to track down unlawfully present foreign fugitives to repatriate them to their home country to face justice for the crimes they are alleged to have committed.”

Regardless of nationality, ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, considering the individual merits and factors of each case. ICE officers make associated decisions and apply prosecutorial discretion in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, or EOIR. EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from DHS and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

In fiscal year (FY) 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

ERO, a directorate of ICE, upholds U.S. immigration law at, within, and beyond our borders. ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-enter the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in targeting foreign fugitives for crimes committed abroad at-large in the U.S. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, detention, bond management, supervised release, transportation, and removal. Additionally, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 150 countries worldwide.

Members of the public can report crimes and suspicious activity by dialing 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

For more news and information on how the ERO Atlanta field office carries out its immigration enforcement mission, follow us on Twitter @EROAtlanta.