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April 18, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston removes Colombian national convicted of drug trafficking charges from US to Colombia

BOSTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston removed a Colombian national and convicted drug trafficker from the United States to Colombia April 1. Deportation officers from ERO Boston removed Yerson Enrique Chiriboga Hinestrosa, 38, to Bogota, via air.

“The ERO Boston team’s work in identifying and removing this convicted drug trafficker has made our region safer and more secure today,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “I’m deeply proud of the dedicated officers who carried out this removal. Their professionalism is truly exemplary.”

On Oct. 12, 2018, while aboard a sea vessel subject to U.S. inspection, Chiriboga was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and transferred to U.S. Marshals’ custody to face federal drug trafficking charges.

On July 25, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas convicted Chiriboga of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine while aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He was sentenced to 11 years and three federal prison.

On April 12, 2022, ERO Boston filed a federal immigration detainer with the Federal Correctional Institute in Berlin, New Hampshire, seeking custody of Chiriboga.

On Feb. 16, 2024, the federal correctional facility transferred custody of Chiriboga to ERO Boston pursuant to the previously lodged detainer. ERO Boston served Chiriboga with a notice and order of expedited removal as an inadmissible immigrant not in possession of a required valid U.S. entry document.

Deportation officers from ERO Boston removed Chiriboga from the U.S. to Colombia April 1.

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.

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.