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March 29, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston apprehends unlawfully present Guatemalan national charged with child sex crimes in Massachusetts

Local jurisdiction refused immigration detainer despite 9 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child less than 14 years old

BOSTON – Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston apprehended an unlawfully present Guatemalan noncitizen who has been charged with a myriad of crimes including sex crimes against minor victims in Massachusetts. Deportation officers from the ERO Boston field office arrested the 33-year-old Guatemalan national March 28, 2024, near his residence in Lynn, Massachusetts.

“This unlawfully present Guatemalan national has been charged with sex crimes against Massachusetts children,” said Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “His very presence in our community represents a dire threat to our residents. ERO Boston will continue to prioritize public safety by arresting and removing any such threat to the people of New England.”

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

Authorities in Lynn, Massachusetts, arrested the Guatemalan noncitizen in March 2022. The Lynn District Court in Lynn, Massachusetts arraigned him on assault and battery on a household member and strangulation/suffocation charges March 30, 2022. Two days later, the court arraigned the noncitizen on the charge of reckless endangerment of child. On February 14, 2023, however, the Lynn District Court dismissed all charges against the Guatemalan noncitizen.

The East Boston District Court in Boston, Massachusetts, arraigned the Guatemalan national June 26, 2023, on the charges of compulsory insurance violation; number plate obscured/not displayed/concealed ID; and forgery. The court East Boston District Court dismissed those charges June 26, 2023.

The Lynn District Court arraigned the noncitizen On Nov. 8, 2023. This time the court charged him with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14; assault to rape child; two counts of assault and battery on child with injury; and intimidation. The court again arraigned the Guatemalan national Nov. 15, 2023, on the charge of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. On Feb. 27, 2024, however, The Lynn District Court dismissed all indictments for superior court arraignment.

ERO Boston lodged an arrest warrant and immigration detainer against the Guatemalan noncitizen Nov. 20, 2023, with the Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton, Massachusetts.

The Essex Superior Court arraigned the Guatemalan national Feb. 26, 2024, on 9 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14; rape of a child; 2 counts assault and battery; and intimidation of a witness.

On an unknown date, the Massachusetts Court System refused to honor ERO Boston’s immigration detainer and ordered the release of the Guatemalan noncitizen.1

Deportation officers from ERO arrested the Guatemalan national March 28, 2024, near his residence in Lynn Massachusetts and served him with a notice to appear before a Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration judge. He will remain in ERO custody pending removal proceedings.

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (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, the 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.

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 DHS 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) three operational directorates, Enforcement and Removal Operations (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 are encouraged to report crimes or suspicious activity by dialing the ICE Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or by 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.

1 | This press release has been edited to correct a reporting error. In this case, the Essex County Correctional Facility was erroneously reported to have refused the ICE detainer when in fact it was the Massachusetts Court System.