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May 10, 2024Denver, CO, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Fugitive wanted for assaulting a government official in Guatemala

DENVER — Officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Denver removed a fugitive wanted in Guatemala May 9.

Mario Roberto Palencia-Perez, 24, is a citizen and national of Guatemala who is wanted in Guatemala for assault of government official. Palencia-Perez was removed from Denver to the La Aurora International Airport and turned over to local authorities in Guatemala.

"Today's successful removal exemplifies our commitment to upholding the law and ensuring the safety of our communities,” said ERO Denver acting Field Office Director Arthur J. Wilson Jr. “We will continue to prioritize the removal of noncitizens who pose a threat to public safety and national security."

Palencia-Perez entered the United States at an unknown date in 2020 near Eagle Pass, Texas.

ERO Denver officers became aware of Palencia-Perez after he was arrested on local charges in October 2023 and issued a detainer for him.

ERO Denver arrested Palencia-Perez Nov. 6, 2023, and an immigration judge in Aurora ordered him removed from the United States on Feb. 20, 2024.

The ERO Guatemala Office and its Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement task force provided assistance to the field office in this removal.

ERO officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s 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.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 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 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 crimes or suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing ICE’s online tip form.

Learn more about ERO’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ERODenver.