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February 27, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston arrests Guatemalan national convicted of child sexual assault in Massachusetts

BOSTON — On Feb. 21, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston arrested an unlawfully present 34-year-old citizen of Guatemala in Gloucester who was recently convicted locally of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. The unlawfully present Guatemalan national had been released by the Gloucester District Court, despite ERO Boston having filed an immigration detainer against him.

The arrest was part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) most recent national enforcement effort, which focused on the apprehension of unlawfully present noncitizen sex offenders. ERO officers apprehended 275 unlawfully present noncitizen sex offenders during the nationwide law enforcement effort that took place between Feb. 5 and Feb. 16.

“This individual represented a dire threat to the residents of Massachusetts,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “Unlawfully present, convicted sex offenders should not be given the opportunity to reoffend. The victim of his crimes deserves better from our justice system. The men and women of ERO Boston will continue to protect our communities from such threats.”

The Guatemalan national unlawfully entered the United States in April 2011 at an unknown location, and without being inspected or admitted by a U.S. immigration official. ERO Boston encountered the Guatemalan national at the Essex County House of Corrections and issued an immigration detainer against him with the detention facility following his arrest and detention in December 2023.

The 34-year-old citizen of Guatemala was convicted in January of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and a separate offense of assault and battery, in Gloucester District Court. He was ordered by the court to register as a sex offender with the state sex offender registry. The court ignored ERO Boston’s immigration detainer and released him back into the community.

Deportation officers with ERO Boston arrested the Guatemalan national without incident Feb. 21 in Gloucester. He will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings before a federal immigration judge 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.

The apprehension of this Guatemalan sex offender was among the arrests that ERO Boston made as part of ICE’s recent coordinated national immigration enforcement effort. During the national operation, deportation officers from ERO field offices across the United States apprehended 275 unlawfully present noncitizen sex offenders during a nationwide law enforcement effort that ran for several weeks starting Feb. 5.

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, at @EROBoston.