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Enforcement and Removal
10/01/2014

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ICE officers in Denver arrest Salvadoran illegally carrying a loaded handgun

DENVER — A man from El Salvador, who has been an immigration fugitive since 1998, was arrested Friday on immigration violations while illegally carrying a loaded handgun.

This arrest was made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, and Aurora (Colorado) Police Department officers.

Jorge Zavala-Yanes, 43, was arrested outside his place of employment in Aurora, Colorado, where he worked as a security guard. Zavala illegally possessed a loaded Glock 27 .40-caliber handgun at the time of his arrest.

Zavala is a citizen of El Salvador who illegally entered the United States in February 1997. An immigration judge in San Bernardino, California, granted Zavala a voluntary departure order in May 1998. The voluntary departure allows aliens to return to their home countries without a deportation on their record. However, Zavala failed to depart the U.S. as required, and a final order of removal order was issued June 1, 1998. He has been an ICE fugitive since then.

“ERO’s Fugitive Operations Teams routinely target criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety,” said John P. Longshore, field office director for ERO Denver. “By targeting and removing dangerous criminals, ERO helps improve public safety in area communities.”

Zavala has criminal convictions in California in 1996.

Zavala is being held in ICE custody without bond pending prosecution on charges of an alien illegally possessing a firearm.

This arrest was spearheaded by ICE's Fugitive Operations Team in Denver, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives — aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation's immigration courts.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/02/2014