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January 25, 2023New Orleans, LA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO New Orleans removes foreign fugitive wanted for homicide to Mexico

NEW ORLEANS — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New Orleans removed 31-year-old Jose Refugio Mendez Gomez, an unlawfully present Mexican national wanted for homicide in his home country of Mexico.

Officials removed Mendez Gomez via ground transportation with assistance from ERO Harlingen, turning him over to Mexican authorities at the port of entry in Brownsville, Texas.

“The return of this fugitive to Mexico is a prime example of how ICE identifies criminal noncitizens in Louisiana and ultimately identifies, with our international law enforcement partners, individuals who are wanted in for allegedly committing crimes abroad,” said ERO New Orleans Field Office Director Mellissa Harper. “ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of noncitizen fugitives and as a result, our communities are safer.”

Mendez Gomez entered the United States on April 3, 2018, as nonimmigrant and violated the terms of his admission when he failed to depart by July 12. Authorities in Guanajuato, Mexico issued an arrest warrant for Mendez on April 12, 2019, for homicide.

ERO New Orleans encountered Mendez Gomez Aug. 21, 2022, after the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Gretna, Louisiana, arrested him for aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon.

On Nov. 1, 2022, ERO New Orleans took Mendez Gomez into ICE custody and issued him a Notice to Appear charging removability pursuant to Section 237(a)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as a noncitizen who overstayed longer than permitted. On Nov. 30, an immigration judge ordered Mendez removed from the United States to Mexico. Mendez waived his right to an appeal.

The ERO New Orleans office oversees suboffices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

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

In fiscal year 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.

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 and 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 Twitter @ERONewOrleans.

Updated: 01/25/2023