Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted its 400th foreign fugitive arrest of the fiscal year. Since October 1, 2009, ERO has arrested and removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives who were sought in their native countries for crimes such as homicide, rape, and kidnapping.
ERO’s 400th foreign fugitive arrest of the year was Rafael Alberto-Burgos, a 43-year-old national of the Dominican Republic and citizen of Spain, wanted by Spanish authorities for homicide. Alberto-Burgos is suspected to have participated in the 1997 murder of his ex-girlfriend, whose remains were found on a Barcelona highway.
Alberto-Burgos was admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program in 1997 and remained in the United States beyond his authorized period of admission. In 2000, Spanish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Alberto-Burgos, and in 2015, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) issued a Red Notice for his arrest on behalf of Spain.
On February 2, 2017, INTERPOL Washington and the ERO National Fugitive Operations Program determined that Alberto-Burgos may be residing in the New York City area and was a positive match to an INTERPOL Red Notice as a fugitive wanted in Spain for homicide.
On June 8, 2017, ERO New York arrested Alberto-Burgos without incident outside his place of employment in Manhattan, ending his more than ten-year run from authorities, and he was issued a Visa Waiver Program administrative removal order. ERO removed Alberto-Burgos from the United States and turned him over to Spanish authorities on July 11, 2017. In addition to multiple U.S. Government partnerships, the collaboration of the Spanish National Police in Barcelona and the Ministry of Interior at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, were critical to effectuating the arrest and removal of Alberto-Burgos.
The majority of this fiscal year’s 400 foreign fugitive arrests took place in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Most arrests were of violent criminals who had convictions or were otherwise wanted for serious crimes, including homicide (121), sex crimes (35), assault (18), kidnapping (13), and theft (39). Of the 400 arrests, more than 40 were wanted for criminal gang activity.
The ERO National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC) and the ERO Removal Division are crucial to these efforts. The NCATC provides criminal and intelligence analysis from a variety of sources to support at-large enforcement efforts throughout ICE. The ERO Removal Division provides critical international engagement, including identity and arrest warrant verification and removal planning, to aid repatriation efforts.
ERO also works closely with a number of key partners in these efforts, including the ICE Homeland Security Investigations Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, INTERPOL Washington, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and local law enforcement.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.
1 FY2017 data as reported by ERO Field offices as of 07/05/2017.