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March 20, 2024New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal, Narcotics

ERO New York City arrests previously removed Colombian national convicted of conspiring to distribute of narcotics

NEW YORK — On March 18, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York City (NYC) arrested an unlawfully present citizen of Colombia convicted of conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin.

ERO NYC’s Criminal Prosecutions group apprehended the previously removed 45-year-old without incident outside of his residence in Queens, New York, and served him with a notice of intent/decision to reinstate prior order. He will remain in custody pending removal to Colombia.

“We will not tolerate criminals who peddle poison on the streets of New York City,” said Field Office Director Kenneth Genalo. “Those who violate our immigration laws and undermine the safety of our communities will be apprehended and removed from the United States.”

On Feb. 8, 1988, the Colombian citizen lawfully entered the United States thought John F. Kennedy Port of Entry as a visitor and violated the terms of his admission.

He was arrested on federal charges on June 1, 1997, for conspiring to distribute and possession with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 and criminal forfeiture, Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a). On Oct. 28, 1998, he was convicted by Southern District of New York of both counts and sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, and five years of post-release supervision.

On Sept. 16, 1998, ERO issued the noncitizen a notice to appear under Section 237 (a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) – as an alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony. On July 17, 1998, an immigration judge issued an order of removal and on Aug. 15, 2001, he was removed from the United States to Colombia.

On an unknown date and at an unknown place, the Colombian citizen unlawfully reentered the United States without inspection, admission, or parole by an immigration official.

On Dec. 20, 2023, the noncitizen was arrested by the NYPD for criminal contempt in the first degree and aggravated harassment in the second degree and was released before a detainer could be lodged.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (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.

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.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ERO New York City’s mission to preserve public safety on X, formerly known as Twitter, @ERONewYork.