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December 4, 2023Detroit, MI, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Detroit removes noncitizen wanted for rape in Guatemala

DETROIT - Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Detroit deportation officers removed an unlawfully present citizen of Guatemala wanted in his home country on rape charges on Nov. 24. 

Cesar Antiono Rafael Lopez, 22, was flown to Guatemala and turned over to local authorities.

“Running from rape charges in your home country will not grant you safe haven here in the United States,” said ERO Detroit Field Office Director Robert Lynch. “Our efforts will continue to provide safer communities across Michigan and Ohio by removing dangerous foreign fugitives seeking to evade justice.”

U.S. Border Patrol arrested Rafael Lopez near Sasabe, Arizona on Sept. 29, 2019, and served him with an order of expedited removal. ERO removed him to Guatemala four days later on Oct. 3, 2019.

U.S. Border Patrol subsequently encountered him on June 3, June 8 and June 12, 2021, near Deming, New Mexico, and returned him to Guatemala each time.

On an unknown date and at an unknown location Rafael Lopez entered the United States without inspection, admittance or parole by an immigration official.

The Wyoming, Michigan, police department arrested Rafael on Sept. 19, 2023, on local charges and held him at the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids. ERO Detroit lodged a detainer with the Kent County Jail the same day, however he was released without notification to ERO officers.

On Oct. 19, 2023, officers arrested Rafael Lopez and served him with a notice of intent and decision to reinstate prior order. 

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions including 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.

As one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 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 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 crimes or suspicious activity by dialing 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, @ERODetroit.

The ERO Detroit field office oversees suboffices in Michigan and Ohio.