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Enforcement and Removal
08/05/2016

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ICE Chicago office deports fugitive wanted in Mexico on rape charges

ICE Chicago office deports fugitive wanted in Mexico on rape charges

CHICAGO — A Mexican national wanted in Mexico on rape 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.

Ismael Leon-Damian, 29, is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for raping and beating his estranged wife in Michoacán, Mexico, March 1, 2015. He departed Chicago on an ICE Air Operations charter flight Aug. 5 and was turned over to the custody of Mexican law enforcement authorities at the Brownsville, Texas, Port of Entry.  

ERO Chicago received information that Leon-Damian might be living in the Chicago area.  Since he was wanted in Mexico on an active arrest warrant, ERO officers arrested him March 19 at a supermarket where he worked in Streamwood, Illinois, despite his attempt to escape out the back of the store. On May 19, a federal immigration judge ordered Leon-Damian removed from the United States. He remained in ICE custody until his removal Friday.

“This fugitive’s arrest and repatriation are the direct result of the ongoing cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and our Mexican counterparts,” 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: 08/16/2016