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April 30, 2024Providence, RI, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston apprehends Dominican citizen arrested locally for felony drug trafficking charges

Local jurisdiction ignored immigration detainer and released him back into community

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston apprehended an unlawfully present Dominican national recently arrested by Rhode Island police on multiple felony drug trafficking charges. ERO Boston officers in Providence arrested the 28-year-old April 18. Local authorities ignored an ICE immigration detainer and released him from custody without notifying ERO Boston.

“In addition to violating U.S. immigration laws, this unlawfully present individual is facing felony drug charges, and should not just be released onto the streets of our community,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “When jurisdictions ignore immigration detainers and release such individuals back into the community, they create threats to the safety of our residents. ERO Boston seeks to cooperate with our local partners create safer neighborhoods for everyone in New England.”

U. S. Border Patrol apprehended the Dominican national Oct. 28, 2022, near the Paso Del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas, after he unlawfully entered the United States without authorization.

On March 28, 2024, the Providence Police Department arrested and charged him with two counts of manufacture, possession and delivery of narcotics, and one count of manufacture, possession and delivery of cocaine — all felony offenses under Rhode Island law.

ERO Boston lodged an immigration detainer against the Dominican national with the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute in Cranston on April 3.

However, disregarding the active immigration detainer, the Rhode Island Superior Court ordered his release back into the community on April 18.

Later that day, ERO Boston deportation officers in Providence arrested the Dominican native without incident. He will be held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody pending a future hearing before a Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration judge.

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 critical public safety tools 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.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security and 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 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 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 with information regarding child sex offenders can report crimes or suspicious activity by dialing the ICE Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ERO Boston’s mission to increase public safety in our New England communities on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBoston.