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April 30, 2024Houston, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Houston removes Guatemalan fugitive wanted for aggravated robbery

Guatemalan authorities take custody of Santos Alfredo Ixchop-Hernandez, a 39-year-old Guatemalan fugitive, after he disembarks from charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit at the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on April 29. ICE ERO Houston removed Ixchop-Hernandez to Guatemala after he illegally entered the United States to evade prosecution in Guatemala for aggravated robbery.

HOUSTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Houston field office, with assistance from ERO Guatemala and the Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force, removed an unlawfully present Guatemalan fugitive wanted for aggravated robbery from the United States on April 29.

Santos Alfredo Ixchop-Hernandez, a 39-year-old unlawfully present Guatemalan national, was flown on a charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit from the Alexandria International Airport in Alexandria, Louisiana, to the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Upon arrival, Ixchop-Hernandez was transferred into the custody of Guatemalan authorities.

“This foreign fugitive illegally entered the United States after fleeing from his home country, where he is wanted for aggravated robbery, and he has continued to engage in criminal activity here while blatantly disregarding our nation’s immigration laws,” said ERO Houston Field Office Director Bret A. Bradford. “By working with our domestic and international partners to repatriate him to Guatemala to stand trial for his alleged crime, we reaffirm our commitment to uphold the rule of law and maintain public safety at home and abroad.”

Ixchop-Hernandez illegally entered the United States on or around June 2, 2019, and was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol near San Luis, Arizona. The U.S. Border Patrol processed Ixchop-Hernandez as a noncitizen present without admission or parole and released him on June 3, 2019, pending disposition of his immigration proceedings.

Ixchop-Hernandez absconded from his immigration proceedings and on June 15, 2022, an immigration judge with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered him removed in absentia from the United States.

On June 28, 2023, immigration officers from ERO Houston lodged an immigration detainer with the Harris County Jail on Ixchop-Hernandez following his arrest by the Houston Police Department for fraud and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Ixchop-Hernandez was convicted of fraud and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle on April 4, 2024, in the 232nd District Court in Houston. On April 5, the Harris County Jail transferred Ixchop-Hernandez into ERO Houston custody.

On April 7, ERO Houston confirmed with the government of Guatemala that Ixchop-Hernandez was wanted for attempted robbery. ICE officers removed Ixchop-Hernandez to Guatemala on April 29, and he was turned over to Guatemalan authorities.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives may contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

For more news and information on how the ERO Houston field office carries out its immigration enforcement mission in Southeast Texas, follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROHouston.

The SAFE Program is a fugitive enforcement and information sharing partnership that was created in 2012 to better use subject information derived from local in-country investigative resources and leads to locate, apprehend, detain and remove individuals residing in the United States illegally who were subject to foreign arrest warrants. The SAFE Program operates under the respective host nation’s AAR, which constructs a SAFE task force composed of relevant foreign law enforcement agencies, immigration authorities, attorneys general and national identification repositories — as well as other regional, national, state and local government agencies. The managing AAR ensures that each task force member complies with SAFE policies and standards consistent with the program’s standard operating procedures. Once established, the AAR-led SAFE task force generates new leads and vets existing SAFE fugitive referrals for ERO action.

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 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.