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November 17, 2022Baltimore, MD, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Baltimore apprehends Togolese fugitive with extensive criminal history

BALTIMORE — Deportation Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore field office arrested a 36-year-old Togolese national with a lengthy criminal record. The officers from ERO Baltimore’s Criminal Apprehension Program apprehended Goudjo Kossi Mensah-Tohonou in Greenbelt, Maryland, Aug. 26.

Mensah-Tohonou’s criminal history includes convictions for theft, robbery with a deadly weapon, drug possession with intent to distribute and second-degree assault. His record also contains numerous other weapons and drug convictions.

“As long as Goudjo Kossi Mensah-Tohonou was allowed to walk the streets of Maryland, he represented a constant threat to its residents,” said Field Office Director Lyle Boelens of ERO Baltimore. “He has been convicted of numerous crimes, some of them violent ones. The dedicated officers who make up ERO have proven time and time again that we are committed to the arrest and removal of any unlawfully present criminal who is looking to harm the law-abiding citizens we have sworn to protect.”

Mensah-Tohonou evaded an attempted apprehension Aug. 25, when ERO officers went to his former address. After receiving a tip, ERO Baltimore made the apprehension the next day.

Mensah-Tohonou entered the United States on an unknown date, at an unknown location, and without being inspected or admitted by an immigration official. ERO Baltimore officers first encountered Mensah-Tohonou May 31, 2012. at the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, Maryland, where he was incarcerated and later convicted on drug offenses.

On Aug. 14, 2012, the Montgomery County Detention Center turned over Mensah-Tohonou to ERO custody.

On Sept. 17, 2013, Mensah-Tohonou was ordered removed and denied all relief by an immigration judge with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

On Mar. 25, 2014, ICE enrolled him in the Alternatives to Detention Program with an Order of Supervision. Mensah-Tohonou absconded and became an ICE fugitive.

On Aug. 26, 2022, ICE arrested him in Greenbelt, Maryland, and he will remain in ERO custody pending removal.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by EOIR. EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the Department of Homeland Security 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.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternative to Detention program, which began in 2004, uses technology and case management to ensure noncitizen compliance with release conditions, court hearings and final orders of removal. The program allows for closer monitoring of non-detained noncitizens at varying levels of supervision, using several different monitoring technologies. ATD effectively increases court appearance rates, compliance with release conditions and helps the participants meet their basic needs and understand their immigration obligations. Those who do not report are subject to arrest and potential removal.

In Fiscal Year 2021, ERO arrested 12,025 individuals with aggravated felony convictions. Offenses associated with noncitizens arrested in FY 2021 included 1,506 homicide related offenses, 3,415 sexual assaults, 19,549 assaults, 2,717 robberies, and 1,063 kidnappings.

Enforcement and Removal Operations

ICE’s ERO directorate upholds U.S. immigration law at, within and beyond our borders. ERO's work is critical to the enforcement of immigration law against those who present a danger to our national security, are a threat to public safety or who otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration system. ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally reentered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in targeting and apprehending foreign fugitives or fugitive arrest and removal cases of those who are wanted for crimes committed abroad and who are now at-large in the United States. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, detention, bond management, supervised release, and transportation and removal. In addition, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 170 countries around the world. ERO and its workforce are responsible for managing a safe, orderly, and humane immigration enforcement process.

Learn more about ICE ERO’s mission to remove fugitives from the community on Twitter @EROBaltimore.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 1-866-347-2423 or completing the ICE tip form.

Updated: 11/17/2022