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February 2, 2023Miami, FL, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Miami extradites murder suspect to Boston to face trial

MIAMI — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Tallahassee’s Criminal Alien Program team officers arrested a citizen of the Dominican Republic in Tallahassee after he served a five-year sentence for lewd and lascivious battery in Osceola County.

ERO Miami encountered David Jean Charles Pena Melo at the Florida Department of Corrections’ Taylor Correctional Institution in Perry. He was convicted in March 2018 for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act as a noncitizen for an aggravated felony, a law relating to murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor.

Upon Pena Melo’s parole, ERO Miami detained and transported him to the Broward County Transitional Facility. Shortly afterward, Massachusetts’ Dorchester District Court issued a warrant for Pena Melo, the prime suspect in an unsolved murder case of a woman who disappeared over a decade ago. ERO Miami turned over custody of Pena Melo to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for extradition to Boston to face murder charges in the cold case. He also faces an outstanding warrant for cocaine trafficking in the state of New York.

“This is yet another example of how ICE detainers help bring noncitizens who are violent criminals to justice,” said ERO Miami Field Operations Director Garett Ripa. “After serving a sentence for felony battery, he now finds himself at the center stage of a murder investigation thanks to the hard work of ERO Tallahassee’s Criminal Alien Program team officers.”

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 ERO’s mission in your community on Twitter @EROMiami.

Updated: 02/02/2023