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June 22, 2023Phoenix, AZ, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Phoenix arrests fugitive wanted for violent crimes

PHOENIX — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Phoenix arrested an unlawfully present foreign fugitive in Phoenix on June 15. Nathan Kharim Melendez, 25, of Mexico, is wanted in Mexico for the criminal charge of causing multiple injuries with a vehicle and abandonment of persons (fleeing from the scene).

“Alleged fugitives do not have a right to avoid justice in their home country by hiding out in our communities,” said ERO Phoenix Field Office Director John E. Cantu. “ERO Phoenix is strongly committed to apprehending and removing those who pose a real threat to the safety and security of the residents of our community. We cannot tolerate their presence here.”

Melendez will remain in ERO Phoenix custody pending the outcome of an upcoming hearing before a federal immigration judge.

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.

As one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 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.