SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A 38-year-old man wanted in El Salvador on murder and aggravated theft charges was removed April 8 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Baltimore.
Enmanuel Tejada Santos, of El Salvador, was allegedly involved in the June 15, 2000, murder of two individuals. According to El Salvadoran authorities, Santos and a group of men allegedly assaulted a vehicle transporting goods that had arrived from the United States. Santos and his accomplices allegedly shot three of the four men traveling together. Two of the men perished, one was injured, and one escaped.
Santos was also allegedly involved in several local bank robberies. The first robbery occurred Nov. 13, 2000, when he and a group of men armed with M-16s and AK-47s allegedly robbed Banco Salvadoreno, a local bank in El Salvador. They allegedly stole the equivalent of more than $11,400 in U.S. currency.
Several months later, on January 26, 2001, 11 men, including Santos, armed again with high-powered weapons, robbed a different bank, Unibanco S.A., and the bank’s security officers. According to police reports, Santos and his accomplices allegedly waited for each employee to arrive at their workplace. They then tied up the employees and ordered the bank’s manager to empty the safe. Santos and his accomplices escaped with approximately $70,006 in U.S. currency, as well as weapons belonging to the security staff.
Santos entered the United States unlawfully at an unknown place and unknown time. He was convicted in Montgomery Country, Maryland, for numerous crimes including attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery, first-degree assault and carjacking.
“Santos’ removal is indicative of ERO’s resolve to identifying and arresting those who pose the greatest threat to our community,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Dorothy Herrera-Niles. “His criminal record – both in the United States and in El Salvador – reveals he is a menace to society.”
Santos is the latest removal to El Salvador as 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 US immigration law.
In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed 530 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), El Salvador’s national police.
SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
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.