ALEXANDRIA, La. – A Salvadoran MS-13 gang member illegally present in the United States, who is wanted in his home country on multiple murder charges, was removed from the United States Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Cesar Amauri Cruz-Marin, 42, was previously removed from the United States in November 2009. According to Salvadoran authorities, after his return to El Salvador, Cruz shot three men in the head in December 2010 and then fled. He subsequently illegally reentered the United States at an unknown time and was arrested by a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force Oct. 23, 2014, in Madison, Tennessee.
Cruz was subsequently prosecuted on a felony charge of illegally re-entering the Unites States following removal. Cruz was convicted in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in May, and was transferred into ERO custody in August after he was released from federal prison.
ERO officers removed Cruz Friday via an ICE Air charter flight from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Comalapa, El Salvador, where he was then transferred into Salvadoran law enforcement custody.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being 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 Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.
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.