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January 6, 2023Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston removes Ecuadoran fugitive wanted for attempted murder

BOSTON — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston removed Darwin Murillo-Morocho, an Ecuadoran criminal fugitive wanted for attempted murder in Ecuador, Jan. 5.

“Thanks to the dedication of ICE law enforcement professionals, this dangerous criminal fugitive has now been removed from the United States to face justice for his alleged crimes in Ecuador,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd Lyons. “ICE remains committed to removing criminal fugitives like Murillo-Morocho, who attempt to evade prosecution for their actions.”

Murillo-Morocho, 25, a citizen of Ecuador, entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location. In January 2018, the Multi-Competent Criminal Judicial Unit in the Canton of Yantazza Province, in Ecuador, issued a criminal arrest warrant for Murillo-Morocho for the charge of crime of attempted murder. He was removed and turned over to Ecuadoran authorities by ERO Boston officers without incident, Jan. 5.

In July 2020 Murillo-Morocho was arrested by police for driving while intoxicated and reckless driving in New York state and was subsequently encountered as part of an immigration enforcement action by ERO Newark in March 2021. Murillo was transferred from ERO Newark custody to ERO Boston custody in June 2021.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and is separate from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

ICE must determine citizenship and obtain travel documents for detained individuals to remove foreign nationals held in ICE custody. ERO officers coordinate with foreign embassies on a case-by-case basis to complete the travel document process.

Each country has an obligation under international law to accept the return of its nationals who are not eligible to remain in the United States or any other country. The United States itself routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting its citizens when asked. Ongoing U.S. government efforts have ensured that most of the world’s countries accept the return of their nationals with final orders of removal. ICE regularly works both directly with foreign governments and through the Department of State to ensure countries adhere to their international obligations to accept the timely return of their citizens.

ICE officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland.

In fiscal year (FY) 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

ICE’s ERO directorate upholds U.S. immigration law at, within, and beyond our borders. ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in targeting foreign fugitives or Fugitive Arrest and Removal (FAR) cases for crimes committed abroad at-large in the U.S. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, detention, bond management, supervised release, as well as transportation and removal. In addition, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 170 countries around the world.

Members of the public can report crimes and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing ICE’s online tip form.