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April 27, 2017Houston, TX, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE Houston officers arrest Salvadoran gang member wanted for aggravated homicide

HOUSTON — A Salvadoran and member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, wanted for aggravated homicide, was arrested Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Houston.

This arrest is the latest result of stepped up collaborative efforts to locate Salvadoran criminal fugitives in the United States and return them to El Salvador to face justice.

William Magana-Contreras, 36, was arrested in Houston on April 26, without incident and placed in ICE custody.

“The apprehension of known gang members and foreign fugitives in the United States is an ICE priority,” said Patrick D. Contreras, field office director of ERO Houston. “The cooperation between the United States and Salvadoran governments resulted in the arrest of this foreign fugitive.”

Magana- Contreras is wanted in El Salvador for aggravated homicide He has previously criminal convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sexual assault.

Magana- Contreras was ordered to be removed from the United States by an immigration judge in Oct. 2007 and deported in Nov. 2007.  He has been notified of ICE’s intent to reinstate his prior order of deportation.

The ICE National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC) provided critical investigative support leading to this arrest, one of El Salvador’s “top 100” most wanted criminals.  The expertise of the NCATC combines criminal and intelligence analysis from a variety of sources. 

This arrest was part of ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward the identification of foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law. In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 600 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC).  SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.