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March 27, 2023Miami, FL, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO returns MS-13 gang member wanted for 3 murders in El Salvador

Police officer 1 of the victims
Juan Carlos Nolasco Chicas, a known MS-13 gang member, was turned over to the SAFE task force Mar. 24, 2023, after being removed from the U.S. as a fugitive wanted by El Salvador law enforcement authorities for aggravated homicide. Nolasco Chicas is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice and one of the El Salvador’s most wanted fugitives.

MIAMI - On March 24, officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Miami, ERO El Salvador and the Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force turned over Juan Carlos Nolasco Chicas, a Salvadoran national wanted by law enforcement authorities in his home country for murdering a police officer and two other people.

Nolasco Chicas, a 31-year-old unlawfully present Salvadoran national and documented MS-13 gang member, was flown from Miami International Airport enroute to his destination of San Salvador, where he was turned over to officials from El Salvador’s Civilian National Police.

Nolasco Chicas is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for a September 2015 murder and is also wanted for the 2016 murder of Agent Francisco de Jesus Lizama Lopez. At the time of his death, Lopez was on patrol in the El Salvador’s Jucuaran Municipality in Usulutan, when four members of MS-13 ambushed and killed him. Nolasco Chicas is believed to be one of the four suspects. Moreover, he is wanted for his alleged role in an additional homicide in 2017, also in Jucuaran.

Nolasco Chicas entered the United States on Oct. 29, 2022, near Hidalgo, Texas. U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him the same day and transferred him to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody on Nov. 5.

“The arrest and return of Nolasco Chicas to El Salvador should send a clear message that we will not tolerate individuals who come to the United States unlawfully, especially when they are to evade justice in their home countries,” said ERO Miami Field Office Director Garrett Ripa. “ICE will continue to work with our international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and deport noncitizens who are wanted in for allegedly committing crimes.”

ERO Miami coordinated Nolasco Chicas’ removal with the ICE attaché office in El Salvador and the El Salvador Civilian National Police.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 866-347-2423. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.

The SAFE Program is a fugitive enforcement and information sharing partnership that was created in 2012 to better use subject information derived from local in-country investigative resources and leads to locate, apprehend, detain, and remove individuals residing in the U.S. illegally who were subject to foreign arrest warrants. The SAFE Program operates under the respective host nation’s AAR, which constructs a SAFE task force composed of relevant foreign law enforcement agencies, immigration authorities, attorneys general, and national identification repositories – as well as other regional, national, state, and local government agencies. The managing AAR ensures that each task force member complies with SAFE policies and standards consistent with the program’s standard operating procedures. Once established, the AAR-led SAFE task force generates new leads and vets existing SAFE fugitive referrals for ERO action.

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 (TDY) assignments along the border.

For more news and information on how the ERO Miami field office carries out its immigration enforcement mission, follow us on Twitter @EROMiami.

Updated: 03/30/2023