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May 5, 2020Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests, removes Salvadoran gang member wanted for homicide

BOSTON — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a Salvadoran gang member Friday, who was removed on two prior occasions and is wanted for homicide in his home country. He was turned over to Salvadoran law enforcement authorities upon his arrival in El Salvador.

Hector Edgardo Martinez-Cuellar, 26, from El Salvador, and a member of the transnational criminal street gang known as the “18th Street” gang, was wanted by Salvadoran law enforcement authorities on aggravated homicide and terrorist organization-related charges. The ERO Boston fugitive operations team arrested him on immigration violations in February in Stratford, Connecticut.

“Unfortunately, criminal alien gang members don’t take a break from their activities during a pandemic. Fortunately for the public, however, neither do the dedicated officers of ICE’s fugitive operations teams. ICE officers risked their own safety to arrest this dangerous gang member and ultimately remove him from the United States,” said Todd M. Lyons, acting field office director of ERO Boston. “Despite certain obstacles during these challenging days, our officers remain committed to keeping our communities safe from the threat of criminal aliens. ICE officers remain vigilant against the threats posed by criminal aliens who seek to hide from their crimes in our neighborhoods.”

Martinez-Cuellar initially entered the U.S. illegally at the Southern border in 2013. An immigration judge ordered him removed from the U.S. in January 2014, and ICE removed him to El Salvador in March 2014. In August 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Martinez-Cuellar when he tried to illegally reenter the U.S., and in September 2015, ICE removed Martinez-Cuellar again to his home country. At some point thereafter, he illegally reentered the U.S.

In April 2019, Salvadoran law enforcement authorities issued a warrant on charges of homicide, plus gang-related and other local criminal charges, and ERO officers arrested him in February.

ICE removed him via charter flight to San Salvador, El Salvador, where he was handed over to law enforcement authorities May 1.

ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the 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.

Updated: 11/19/2020