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March 15, 2024Baltimore, MD, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Baltimore arrests previously removed Salvadoran MS-13 member with extensive criminal history

Local jurisdiction refused to honor immigration detainers on 5 separate occasions and released the offender

BALTIMORE — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore apprehended a Salvadoran noncitizen and documented member of the notorious MS-13 criminal enterprise who has been convicted of multiple crimes in Maryland. Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Fugitive Operations Team arrested the 36-year-old gang member March 5 at his residence in Hyattsville. The Salvadoran gang member has been removed from the United States on three separate occasions.

“This Salvadoran gang member has made a habit out of breaking American laws,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Darius Reeves. “He has proven time and again to pose a significant threat to the residents of Maryland communities. ERO Baltimore will continue to prioritize the safety of our public by aggressively apprehending and removing such dangers to our neighborhoods.”

The Salvadoran noncitizen unlawfully entered the United States on four separate occasions — three after having been removed by ERO.

Law enforcement officials arrested the Salvadoran national on 17 separate occasions between December 2005 and March 2024. The Prince George’s County Police Department arrested him on eight occasions; Baltimore police arrested him three times; the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Task Force arrested him twice; ERO Washington, D.C. arrested him once; the Hyattsville Police Department arrested him once; the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina arrested him once; and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department arrested him once.

Between January 2012 and March 2024, the Salvadoran national has been convicted on seven separate occasions for crimes related to destruction of property, theft, burglary and illegally reentering the United States.

ERO lodged nine separate immigration detainers against the Salvadoran gang member. Prince George’s County refused to honor ERO immigration detainers on five separate occasions, each time releasing the Salvadoran gang member back into the community. Additionally, Washington, D.C. refused to honor one ERO detainer.

After the most recent immigration detainer was refused, ERO Baltimore attempted to arrest the Salvadoran gang member on Jan. 23 in Hyattsville, but he eluded officers. Undeterred, ERO Baltimore’s Fugitive Operations Team later arrested him at his residence in Hyattsville. ERO Baltimore transferred the noncitizen to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending criminal prosecution for illegally reentering the United States. ERO Baltimore will seek to remove the Salvadoran noncitizen upon the completion of his criminal 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. Because 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 our Maryland communities on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROBaltimore.