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May 11, 2020New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE returns Mexican fugitive suspected of murder

NEW YORK — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers returned a suspect in a 20-year-old Mexican homicide case to Mexico. Officers from ICE ERO New York and San Antonio transferred custody of Arsenio Victor Balderas-Martinez, 52, to Mexican law enforcement authorities at the Laredo, Texas, port of entry, Tuesday, May 12.

In June 2000, a magistrate in Oaxaca, Mexico issued an arrest warrant for Balderas-Martinez, who is suspected in the March 6, 2000, shooting death of a family member. If convicted, Balderas-Martinez faces a sentence of 35 years in prison.

On Sept. 17, ERO’s Transnational Law Enforcement Operations Unit advised ERO New York that Balderas-Martinez, who illegally entered the United States at an unknown time and date, was a Mexican fugitive residing in the New York City Metropolitan area. Deportation officers from ERO New York’s Violent Criminal Alien Section arrested Balderas-Martinez on Staten Island, New York, Dec. 3, and placed him into removal proceedings.

During March 3 immigration proceedings, an immigration judge in New York City, granted Balderas-Martinez a voluntary departure. Balderas-Martinez then waived his right to appeal, paving the way for his return to his home country to stand trial. ERO New York deportation officers, assisted by ERO’s San Antonio Field Office, escorted the suspect to the border before turning him over to Mexican authorities.

“This is a very serious crime that Balderas-Martinez is suspected of committing. He believed he could evade justice by fleeing Mexico and illegally entering the United States. That’s why returning him to his home country to stand trial is a great win for the immigration and criminal justice systems in the United States and Mexico,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for ICE ERO New York. “Foreign fugitives who think they can hide in the United States to skirt justice in their home countries should know that they will find no refuge here. ICE ERO will continue to work with our domestic and international partners to bring them to justice and keep our communities safe.”

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed from the United States more than 1,700 foreign fugitives who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. In fiscal year 2019, ICE removed 267,000 aliens illegally present in the United States. ERO arrested 143,000 aliens – more than 86% of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally reentered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

Updated: 11/19/2020