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February 9, 2023El Paso, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO El Paso removes Mexican fugitive wanted for fraud in home country

Repeat immigration violator, convicted felon has been voluntarily returned or removed 7 times in 19 years
ERO El Paso deportation officers turned over Misael Estrada-Virgin to Mexican authorities on Wednesday at the top of the Stanton Street Bridge in downtown El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) El Paso deportation officers removed a repeat immigration offender on Feb. 1 who is wanted in his home country for fraud.

Officers turned over Misael Estrada-Virgin, 37, who has a prior final order of removal, to Mexican authorities at the international boundary at the Stanton Street Bridge in downtown El Paso.

On April 27, 2004, Border Patrol agents arrested Estrada-Virgin in Tecate, California, and granted his voluntary return to Mexico. Following that encounter, Estrada-Virgin reentered the United States illegally and was voluntarily returned or removed six additional times between 2004 and January 2023.

“ICE will continue to collaborate closely with our international law enforcement partners to ensure criminals who flee their countries of origin to escape responsibility for their actions, are held accountable,” said Mary De Anda, field office director for ERO El Paso. “The message is clear: Criminals will not find sanctuary in our communities.”

In December 2004, the Superior Court in San Diego convicted Estrada-Virgin of possession/purchase for sale of narcotics/controlled substance — cocaine and sentenced him to two years in prison. In October 2011, The Superior Court in Marion County, Oregon, convicted Estrada-Virgin of two counts of unlawful delivery of heroin and sentenced him to 18 months in prison on one count and 21 months in prison on another. In May 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon convicted Estrada-Virgin of unlawful entry and sentenced him to time served. He returned to Oregon to serve the remainder of his sentence for the October 2011 conviction.

In December 2022, ERO Seattle officers encountered Estrada-Virgin in Vancouver, Washington, while helping the FBI Safe Streets Task Force execute a search warrant. Officers served him with Notice of Intent/Decision to Reinstate Prior Order. ERO Seattle officers transported Estrada-Virgin to the Northwest ICE Processing Center to await removal.

ERO Seattle subsequently received an active arrest warrant for Estrada-Virgin on Dec. 28 issued by a court in Nayarit, Mexico.

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

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the Department of Homeland Security 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.

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.

Enforcement and Removal Operations

ERO, a directorate of ICE, 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, who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-enter 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 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, transportation, and removal. Additionally, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 150 countries worldwide.

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

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on Twitter @EROElPaso.