HOUSTON — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) on Friday removed five illegal aliens from El Salvador, who were fugitives wanted in their home country for various serious crimes, including aggravated murder.
- Jose David Umanzor-Hernandez, 26, was wanted for aggravated homicide and criminal associations;
- Ever Rafael Roca-Ruiz, 24, was wanted for aggravated homicide;
- Milessa Carolina Cortez-Granados, 22, was wanted for attempted aggravated murder and terrorist organizations;
- Pedro Antonio Cruz Rodriguez, 20, was wanted for aggravated homicide, terrorist organizations and aggravated deprivation of liberty; and
- Kevin Brandon Aragon Luna, 20, was wanted for terrorist organizations.
All five were flown on an ICE Air Operations charter flight from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, to the Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador. Upon arrival in El Salvador, all five fugitives were presented to the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) for arrest.
Umanzor-Hernandez, Roca-Ruiz, Cortez-Granados, and Cruz Rodriguez are all known members of the brutal transnational criminal street gang MS-13. All five individuals illegally entered the U.S.
- Umanzor-Hernandez illegally entered the U.S. at an unknown date and location and was ordered removed by an immigration judge Sept. 10.
- Roca-Ruiz illegally entered the U.S. Oct. 14, near Falfurrias, Texas, and was processed as an expedited removal.
- Cortez-Granados illegally entered the U.S. on Dec. 21, 2015, and was ordered removed by an immigration judge Oct. 26, 2018. She was previously removed Nov. 12, 2009.
- Cruz Rodriguez illegally entered the U.S. on Nov. 2, 2016, near Hidalgo, Texas, and was ordered removed by an immigration judge April 23, 2018.
- Aragon Luna illegally entered the U.S. Sept. 14, 2018, and was processed as an expedited removal.
Identifying and removing foreign fugitives from the United States is an ICE priority. ICE removed or returned 226,119 aliens in fiscal year 2017. The proportion of FY17 removals resulting from ICE arrests increased by nearly 10 percent over the previous fiscal year, and the number of ICE interior removals in FY17 increased by over 15,000 from FY16.