HOUSTON — Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Houston, Texas, removed an illegal alien and known 18th Street gang member Wednesday wanted for terroristic acts and leading terrorist organizations in El Salvador.
Unlawfully present Salvadoran national Saul Alberto Benavides, 35, was flown from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, to the Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador, on a charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit. Upon arrival, he was turned over to officials from El Salvador’s Civilian National Police.
Benavides illegally entered the United States July 1, 2019, near Roma, Texas. On March 26, 2020, he was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in Robstown, Texas. On March 27, he was transferred into ICE custody. An immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered Benavides removed from the U.S. to El Salvador June 15.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. In FY 2019, ERO Houston removed more than 12,620 aliens with criminal convictions and another 1,699 with pending criminal charges.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE Tip Line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.