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February 9, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal, Child Exploitation

ERO Boston apprehends Salvadoran national convicted for possessing child sexual abuse material in Connecticut

Deportation officers arrested the unlawfully present registered sex offender after the Connecticut Department of Corrections refused to honor ERO’s immigration detainer

BOSTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston apprehended un unlawfully present Salvadoran national and registered sex offender Jan. 26 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Deportation officers from ERO Boston arrested the 26-year-old, who had been convicted in Norwalk, Connecticut, for possessing child sexual abuse material in 2020.

“This unlawfully present sex offender has already proven to be a substantial threat to the children of our Connecticut communities,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “Our dedicated officers remain committed to providing safe neighborhoods to all of our New England residents, particularly the children. ERO Boston will continue to aggressively apprehend and remove any unlawfully present individual who presents such a hazard.”

The 26-year-old Salvadoran national legally entered the United States in September 2009 in Houston, Texas.

The Norwalk, Connecticut, Police Department arrested him national in February 2019 and charged him with illegal possession of child pornography in the second degree. The Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District Court in Connecticut convicted him of second-degree illegal possession of child pornography and sentenced him to 10 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation. The court suspended all but two years of his prison sentence, but required him to register as a sex offender. The conviction negated his legal right to reside in the United States.

ERO Boston lodged an immigration detainer against him with the Connecticut Department of Corrections in November 2021. However, in February 2022, the Department of Corrections refused to honor the detainer and released the sex offender.

Deportation officers from ERO Boston apprehended the at-large sex offender Jan. 26 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He will remain in ERO custody pending his removal proceedings.

The apprehension of this Salvadoran sex offender represented one of five arrests that ERO Boston made as part of a recent national immigration enforcement effort. During the effort, deportation officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ERO field offices across the United States arrested 171 unlawfully present noncitizens with pending charges or convictions for egregious crimes such as homicide, rape, assault or sexual assaults against children. The nationwide law enforcement effort ran from Jan.16 to Jan. 28.

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 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 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 authorities to make arrests in secure and controlled custodial settings 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 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

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