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January 8, 2024Washington, DC, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Washington, D.C. apprehends noncitizen charged with sexual abuse of Virginia minor, producing child sexual abuse material

The subject assaulted a federal law enforcement officer during his arrest

WASHINGTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, D.C. arrested an unlawfully present noncitizen charged with sexually assaulting a Virginia minor and production of child sexual abuse material. Deportation officers from ERO Washington, D.C.’s Mobile Criminal Apprehension Team apprehended the 21-year-old Honduran national Dec. 4 at his residence in Springfield, Virginia. The noncitizen assaulted a deportation officer during his apprehension.

“Fairfax County refused to honor the ICE detainer lodged against this Honduran noncitizen,” said acting Deputy Field Office Director Erik Weiss. “When ICE detainers are ignored by local authorities, the public is put at risk; unfortunately, this time the result was the unnecessary injury of a federal law enforcement officer while prosecuting the arrest of a noncitizen charged with sexually abusing a Virginia minor and producing child sexual abuse material. ERO Washington remains dedicated to protecting the residents of our communities against threats posed by unlawfully present noncitizens.”

The Honduran noncitizen unlawfully entered the United States on an unknown date at an unknown location without being inspected, admitted or paroled by an immigration official.

U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents arrested the Honduran national in January 2020 near Clint, Texas, as an unaccompanied juvenile. They issued him a notice to appear before a Department of Justice immigration judge, charging him as inadmissible pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. USBP charged the noncitizen with being present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrived in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the attorney general.

The next day, USBP released the Honduran national to the custody of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement at the Children’s Home of Kingston in Kingston, New York.

In February 2020, USBP released him to the custody of his father in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in Fairfax, Virginia, arrested the Honduran national in July 2023 and charged him with carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 14 without force, possession of child sexual abuse material, and producing child sexual abuse material. Later that day, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center lodged an immigration detainer against him with the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center in Fairfax, Virginia.

The Fairfax County Adult Detention Center did not honor the immigration detainer and released the Honduran noncitizen from custody without notifying ERO Washington, D.C.

Deportation officers from ERO Washington, D.C.’s Mobile Criminal Apprehensions Team arrested the Honduran national Jan. 4 at his residence in Springfield, Virginia, during a targeted enforcement action. During the apprehension, the noncitizen assaulted a deportation officer with a closed fist. ERO Washington, D.C. issued the noncitizen a notice of custody determination and contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia to prosecute the noncitizen for assaulting a law enforcement officer. The noncitizen will remain in ERO custody pending legal proceedings.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

Regardless of nationality, ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and DHS policy, considering the circumstances of each case. ICE officers make decisions on associated enforcement actions and apply prosecutorial discretion in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects the communities it serves.

Officers prioritize enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas on Sept. 30, 2021, and reinstituted on June 28, obtaining and reviewing entire criminal and administrative records and any other investigative information available, when taking decisive law enforcement actions.

ERO is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that protects the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of our immigration laws.

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.