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March 19, 2024Rockville, MD, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Newly cooperative Maryland county honors first 2 ERO Baltimore immigration detainers

Both offenders have been charged with child sex crimes in Maryland

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Montgomery County Detention Center transferred custody of two unlawfully present accused sex offenders to Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore on March 11 in support of a new agreement by Montgomery County to begin honoring ICE detainers. County executives and ERO Baltimore leadership agreed on Feb. 27 to cooperate on apprehending and removing violent noncitizen offenders from Montgomery County communities.

“We are extremely happy to be working with our law enforcement partners in Montgomery County toward safer neighborhoods,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Darius Reeves. “I will reiterate that ERO Baltimore is looking to apprehend and remove the most egregious noncitizen offenders. The two detainees that we took custody of were both charged with sexually abusing Maryland minors. Sex offenders are certainly not the types of people that the residents of Montgomery County want roaming their streets.”

The first individual is an unlawfully present 44-year-old Honduran national charged with sexually abusing a minor. The Honduran noncitizen entered the United States on an unknown date, at an unknown location, and without being admitted, inspected, or paroled by a U.S. immigration official.

Montgomery County Police arrested the Honduran national Nov. 17, 2023, and charged him with sex abuse minor: house/family, two counts of rape second degree, and four counts of sex offense third degree. Later that day, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center (PERC) lodged an Immigration Detainer against the noncitizen with the Montgomery County Detention Center (MCDC) in Rockville, Maryland.

MCDC honored the ERO Baltimore detainer and transferred custody of the Honduran national to ERO Baltimore on March 11.

The second offender is an unlawfully present 33-year-old Salvadoran national convicted of sexually abusing a Maryland minor. The Salvadoran noncitizen unlawfully entered the United Stated on an unknown date, at an unknown location and without being inspected, admitted, or paroled by a U.S. immigration official.

Montgomery County Police arrested the Salvadoran national on July 10, 2023, and charged him with sex abuse of a minor, and seven counts of sex offense third degree. The next day, PERC lodged an Immigration Detainer against the Salvadoran noncitizen with MCDC.

On November 28, 2023, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County in Rockville, Maryland, convicted the Salvadoran national of sex offense third degree and sentenced him to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised probation. The court then suspended nine years of his prison sentence.

MCDC honored the ERO Baltimore detainer and transferred custody of the Honduran national to ERO Baltimore on March 11.

Both offenders will remain in ICE ERO custody pending the outcome of their criminal trial and removal proceedings.

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodges immigration detainers against noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement. An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to state or local law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as early as possible before a removable noncitizen is released from their custody. Detainers request that state or local law enforcement agencies maintain custody of the noncitizen for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time the individual would otherwise be released, allowing ERO to assume custody for removal purposes in accordance with federal law.

Detainers are a critical public safety tool because they focus enforcement resources on removable noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity. Detainers increase the safety of all parties involved – ERO personnel, law enforcement officials, the removable noncitizens, and the public – by allowing an arrest to be made in a secure and controlled custodial setting as opposed to at-large within the community. Since detainers result in the direct transfer of a noncitizen from state or local custody to ERO custody, they also minimize the potential that an individual will reoffend. Additionally, detainers conserve scarce government resources by allowing ERO to take criminal noncitizens into custody directly rather than expending resources locating these individuals at-large.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from DHS and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

As one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) three operational directorates, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) or completing the ICE online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in our Maryland communities on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBaltimore.