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January 12, 2021Atlanta, GAUnited StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests Salvadoran MS-13 gang member wanted in home country

ATLANTA — An unlawfully present Salvadoran national wanted by law enforcement authorities in El Salvador on gang participation charges was arrested by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 4.

Eulalio Alvarez-Lizama, 36, is a known or suspected member of the transnational criminal street organization known as Mara Salvatrucha or “MS-13”. Alvarez illegally entered the U.S. on an unknown date and was first encountered by ERO on Feb. 12, 2012, at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in Charlotte after his arrest for operating a vehicle without a license. ICE officers served him with a notice to appear and placed him into removal proceedings before a federal immigration judge. In July 2019, ERO Atlanta received an INTERPOL Red Notice indicating that Alvarez was wanted in El Salvador for participation in gang activities.

"Alvarez thought that he could avoid justice in his home country by hiding in our community and he was wrong,” said Thomas Giles, ERO Atlanta Field Office Director. “Finding and removing dangerous criminal aliens is one of our most important missions and we take that mission very seriously."

Alvarez will remain in ICE custody until the completion of his removal proceedings.

ICE has removed hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals, since the agency was established in March 2003.

High-profile removals include those who are wanted for serious crimes in another country, such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, drug offenses, alien smuggling, fraud or theft. Others include persons who are national security risks, such as suspected terrorists, those involved in counter-proliferation crimes or those on the terrorist watch list and/or the no-fly list, along with human rights or war crimes violators.

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 reentered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

In fiscal year 2020, ICE continued to focus its enforcement efforts on aliens who pose a threat to public safety. ICE ERO conducted 103,603 administrative arrests, a 28% decline from fiscal year 2019, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 90% of those arrested had a criminal conviction or pending criminal charges at the time of arrest. Those arrested included aliens with criminal charges or convictions for 1,837 homicide offenses, 37,247 assault offenses and 10,302 sexual assault or sex offenses.

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.

Aliens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and 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.

Updated: 01/12/2021