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Enforcement and Removal
06/11/2015

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ICE Dallas officers deport Guatemalan wanted for murder, aggravated robbery as part of long-standing family feud

Rafael Santano Asencio Y Asencio

DALLAS — A Guatemalan fugitive wanted for murder and aggravated robbery was deported Wednesday and turned over to law enforcement authorities.

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

Rafael Santano Asencio Y Asencio, 47, illegally entered the United States around December 2013 near McAllen, Texas. 

ICE Guatemala, Policia Nacional Civil/Interpol Guatemala jointly coordinated collecting the warrant documentary evidence, identity confirmation and whereabouts information.  The ICE Attaché in Guatemala City, Guatemala, informed ERO Dallas Jan. 30 that Asencio was the subject of a warrant for his arrest on charges of murder and aggravated robbery in Guatemala.  Officers from ERO Dallas arrested Asencio without incident in Plano, Texas, Feb. 3.

On April 7, a federal immigration judge in Dallas, Texas ordered Asencio removed to Guatemala.

“This case specifically shows how ICE ensures that foreign criminals don’t use the United States as a safe haven from the crimes they’ve committed in their home countries,” said Mark A. Aguirre, assistant attaché for repatriation in Guatemala. “ICE also helps to protect the public by removing these criminal aliens who pose a danger to local U.S. communities.”

According to the arrest warrant, on May 1, 2012 in Zapotitlan, Guatemala, Rafael Santano Asencio Y Asencio murdered his cousin Noely Valenzuela Asencio. According to an eyewitness of the murder, there was a longstanding on-going dispute between the cousins over land disputed within the family.  At about 4:30 p.m., the eyewitness and victim were walking home when they recognized Rafael Santano Asencio Y Asencio sitting alone in front of a church along their intended path.  Since the eyewitness anticipated a confrontation, he advised the victim to take an alternate route.  Instead, the victim continued on his direct path to Asencio. From across the street the witness observed Asencio draw a handgun from his side and shoot at the victim. As the victim tried to respond by drawing his own handgun, he fell to the ground clutching his handgun. Asencio then reached over and took the deceased victim’s handgun. The eyewitness then ran home and informed the victim’s family. The arrest warrant for Rafael Santano Asencio Y Asencio was issued July 16, 2012 for homicide and aggravated robbery. 

ICE officers drove Asencio from Dallas to Houston, Texas, June 10, 2015.  He flew from Houston to Guatemala City the same day via ICE Air Operations charter flight.  After arrival, he was turned over to Guatemalan officials.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.

In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/11/2015