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February 26, 2024Baltimore, MD, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Baltimore apprehends Honduran national convicted of robbery in Maryland

Local jurisdiction ignored an ICE immigration detainer and released the noncitizen into the community

BALTIMORE — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore arrested a 28-year-old Honduran noncitizen convicted of a 2023 robbery in Rockville. Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Fugitive Operations Team apprehended the unlawfully present Honduran national Feb. 23 in Gaithersburg.

“This unlawfully present Honduran national not only broke our nation’s immigration laws; he proved to be a threat to the residents of Maryland by committing a robbery here,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Darius Reeves. “We will not allow such noncitizens to threaten our communities. ERO Baltimore will continue to prioritize public safety and the security of our Maryland neighborhoods.”

The Honduran noncitizen unlawfully entered the United States on an unknown date at an unknown location without being inspected, admitted or paroled by a designated U.S. immigration official.

U.S. Border Patrol encountered the Honduran national near Eagle Pass, Texas, in March 2022, and served him with a notice and order of expedited removal. Agents then transferred him to custody of ERO San Antonio.

Later that month, ERO San Antonio granted the noncitizen interim parole.

In June 2022, the government of Honduras notified American authorities that the noncitizen was wanted in Honduras for theft of an automobile.

The McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office in Darien, Georgia, arrested him in January 2023 and charged him with driving without a license.

ERO Miami issued the noncitizen a notice to appear before a Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration judge in March 2023.

The Rockville Police Department arrested him in July 2023 and charged him with robbery.

The Circuit Court for Montgomery County in Rockville convicted the noncitizen of robbery in December 2023 and sentenced him to five years in prison and five years of supervised probation. The court suspended all but 203 days of the prison sentence.

In January 2023, ERO Baltimore lodged an immigration detainer against the Honduran noncitizen with the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville. However, the Montgomery County Detention Center refused to honor the detainer and released the noncitizen from custody three weeks later.

Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Fugitive Operations Team arrested the Honduran noncitizen in Gaithersburg Feb. 22. He will remain in ERO custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, ERO lodges immigration detainers against noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement. An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to state or local law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as early as possible before a removable noncitizen is released from their custody. Detainers request that state or local law enforcement agencies maintain custody of the noncitizen for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time the individual would otherwise be released, allowing ERO to assume custody for removal purposes in accordance with federal law.

Detainers are a critical public safety tool because they focus enforcement resources on removable noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity. Detainers increase the safety of all parties involved — ERO personnel, law enforcement officials, removable noncitizens and the public — by allowing an arrest to be made in a secure and controlled custodial setting as opposed to at-large within the community. Since detainers result in the direct transfer of a noncitizen from state or local custody to ERO custody, they also minimize the potential that an individual will reoffend. Additionally, detainers conserve scarce government resources by allowing ERO to take criminal noncitizens into custody directly rather than expending resources locating these individuals at-large.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO made 170,590 administrative arrests, a 19.5% increase over the previous year. ERO arrested 73,822 noncitizens with a criminal history; those arrested had an average of four charges and convictions per individual, including more than 33,209 charges or convictions for assault, 7,520 for weapons offenses, 1,713 for homicide-related offenses, and 1,615 for kidnapping. Removals also included 3,406 known or suspected gang members, 139 known or suspected terrorists, seven human rights violators, and 108 foreign fugitives wanted by their governments for crimes including homicide, rape, terrorism and kidnapping. Also in fiscal year 2023, ERO conducted 142,580 removals to more than 170 countries worldwide.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations and the repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or completing the ICE online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBaltimore.