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Enforcement and Removal
10/11/2016

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ICE Chicago office deports fugitive wanted in Mexico for murder

ICE Chicago office deports fugitive wanted in Mexico for murder
ICE Chicago office deports fugitive wanted in Mexico for murder

CHICAGO — A Mexican national wanted in Mexico on murder charges was deported Friday and turned over to Mexican law enforcement authorities.

This deportation was conducted by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Chicago.

Agustin Espinoza-Betancourt, 34, is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for allegedly committing murder in 1999 in Morelos, Mexico. According to the Red Notice, on Feb 6, 1999, Espinoza-Betancourt got into an altercation with his neighbors — a mother and son — and shot the son four times, killing him. The mother attempted to shield her son and was shot twice, but survived.

If convicted of the charge, Espinoza-Betancourt faces up to 22 years in prison according to the Red Notice. He departed Chicago on an ICE Air Operations charter flight Oct. 7 and was turned over to the custody of Mexican law enforcement authorities at the Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.

In May, ERO Chicago received information that Espinoza-Betancourt was wanted in Mexico on murder charges. ERO officers arrested him June 21 outside his place of employment in Indianapolis. He remained in ICE custody until his removal Friday.

According to ICE records, Espinoza-Betancourt illegally entered the United States in April 1999, shortly after allegedly committing the murder in Mexico. ERO officers based in Indianapolis previously encountered Espinoza-Betancourt in May 2003 and placed him into removal proceedings; he was ordered deported in absentia by a federal immigration judge in July 2003.

“The continued cooperation between the United States and the Mexican government results in such repatriations of foreign fugitives and improved public safety,” said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "International fugitives who think they can evade justice by fleeing to the United States should take notice — they will find no refuge here.”

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,789 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States. 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.

ERO coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and others ordered deported. Last year alone, ERO removed 235,413 individuals from the United States. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety. ICE’s civil enforcement efforts are based on priorities set by the Secretary of Homeland Security in November 2014.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/17/2016