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August 23, 2023Salt Lake City, UT, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Fugitive wanted for homicide in Mexico removed

SALT LAKE CITY— Officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Salt Lake City removed a fugitive wanted in Mexico Aug. 23.

Juan Pablo Ortiz-Herrera, 24, is wanted in his native Mexico for homicide. He was transported from ERO detention in Las Vegas, Nevada via ground transport and arrived on the same day at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, California. Upon arrival, Ortiz was turned over to local authorities in Mexico.

“This arrest and removal is demonstrative of ICE’s important public safety mission and the work ERO officers do to keep U.S. residents from harm,” said ERO Salt Lake City Field Office Director Michael Bernacke.

The Nampa Police Department in Idaho arrested Ortiz for misdemeanor charges June 2. ERO officers placed a detainer with Canyon County Jail in Caldwell, Idaho, and subsequently arrested Ortiz June 14. An immigration judge in Las Vegas, Nevada, ordered Ortiz removed from the United States to Mexico July 20.

Ortiz has previously been expelled from the United States four times since April 2022 pursuant to Title 42.

ERO officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a 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, @EROSaltLakeCity.

Updated: 08/25/2023