Skip to main content
March 7, 2023New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO New York City removes Ecuadorian fugitive wanted for rape

Left: Rolando Eduardo Ballagan about to embark on removal flight with ERO escorts. | Right: Ronaldo Eduardo Ballagan being turned over to Ecuadorian authorities.

NEW YORK — On March 2, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York City removed an unlawfully present foreign fugitive from the United States convicted of rape in Ecuador.

A charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit flew Rolando Eduardo Ballagan, 38, from Alexandria International Airport in Alexandria, Louisiana, to Jose Joaquin Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador. ERO turned Ballagan over to authorities there.

“Dangerous criminals such as Mr. Ballagan seek to exploit our immigration laws in order to evade prosecution for their crimes,” said ERO New York City Field Office Director Kenneth Genalo. “We are committed to removing these fugitives from our communities and retuning them to their country of origin to face justice.”

Ballagan entered the United States without being admitted or paroled by an immigration official on an unknown date and at an unknown location. ERO New York arrested him on May 10, 2022, and served him with a Notice to Appear charging inadmissibility pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act as a noncitizen present without admission or parole.

Noncitizens placed in removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ERO officers carry out the removal decisions made by federal immigration judges.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 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 ICE’s online tip form.

Learn more about ERO New York City’s mission to preserve public safety on Twitter @ERONewYork.

Updated: 03/08/2023