HOUSTON — An MS-13 gang member, wanted for aggravated murder and other criminal charges in El Salvador, was arrested Wednesday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Pedro Cruz-Rodriquez, 19, a citizen and national of El Salvador, last entered the country illegally Nov. 2, 2016. Cruz-Rodriquez is a suspect in the aggravated murder of Jaime Roberto Loza Garay and the aggravated kidnapping of four other men in El Salvador. According to an arrest warrant dated Sept. 5, 2017, he is also charged in his home country with domestic terrorism that threatens national security and public safety.
This arrest resulted from an HSI investigation intended to disrupt and dismantle MS-13’s financial and criminal networks within the United States and Central America.
On Nov. 29, HSI Houston’s Gang South Group, along with officers from ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), arrested Cruz-Rodriguez. He is being held without bond at the Houston Service Center Processing pending removal proceedings.
Transnational criminal street gangs represent a significant threat to public safety in communities throughout the United States. HSI’s National Gang Unit (NGU) is a critical part of ICE’s mission to bring the fight to transnational criminal gangs. The NGU identifies and develops intelligence on gang membership, associates, activities and international movements. The unit develops strategic domestic and foreign law enforcement partnerships and utilizes those partnerships, along with all of its unique legal authorities, to target gangs, to suppress violence and prosecute criminal enterprises.