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Enforcement and Removal
09/22/2017

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ICE Houston officers deport Salvadoran gang member wanted for his role in a terrorist organization

ICE Houston officers deport Salvadoran gang member wanted for his role in a terrorist organization

HOUSTON — A Salvadoran gang member with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, who was wanted for his affiliation with a terrorist organization, was deported Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Houston.

This removal 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.

Carlos Raul Garcia-Cantarero, 35, entered ICE custody June 7 after serving eight months in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States after being previously deported.

“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 removal of this foreign fugitive.”

Garcia-Cantarero is wanted in El Salvador for his role in a terrorist organization and “illegal limitation on freedom of circulation.”

Garcia-Cantarero was previously removed from the United States four times: August 2013, June 2014, September 2014 and September 2015. He had been notified of ICE’s intent to reinstate his prior order of deportation.

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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/27/2017