ALBANY, N.Y. — A former Guatemalan police officer, who is wanted by authorities in his home country for homicide and aggravated robbery, stemming from a fatal 2012 holdup in Jutiapa, Guatemala, was removed Wednesday by officers and special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Kenedy Agileo Pineda-Morales, 41, was arrested by authorities without incident April 13, in Saratoga Springs, New York. A preliminary investigation determined that Pineda-Morales was living under an assumed name in the area. Authorities confirmed his true identity using biometric information and photos.
According to Guatemalan officials, Pineda-Morales, acting in his official capacity as an officer with the Guatemala National Civil Police, allegedly confronted a cattle farmer and his wife in December 2012 at their residence in Jutiapa, Guatemala, where he shot and killed the husband and robbed the couple of 5,000 Quetzales (approximately $650.00 USD). Pineda-Morales was reportedly acting on information that the pair had recently sold a head of cattle. Following the shooting, Pineda-Morales then fled Guatemala to avoid prosecution.
On Jan. 11, 2013, a judge in Guatemala City issued a warrant for Pineda-Morales’ arrest for the offenses of homicide and aggravated robbery.
Pineda-Morales, who had been held since his arrest at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center at Batavia, New York, was ordered removed June 14 by an immigration judge. ICE removed Pineda-Morales via an ICE Air flight originating in Jena, Louisiana. He was turned over to Guatemalan authorities July 13 without incident.
The information leading to Pineda-Morales’arrest and removal was developed by ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) team based in Guatemala. The SAFE Initiative identifies foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law. 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 1,789 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States.
ERO coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and others ordered deported. Last year alone, ERO removed 235,413 individuals from the United States. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety. ICE’s civil enforcement efforts are based on priorities set by the Secretary of Homeland Security in November 2014.