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April 3, 2019New York, NY, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Salvadoran national faces felony illegal reentry charges

NEW YORK — A Salvadoran national and convicted felon was arrested March 2 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New York officers in Huntington, New York. A criminal complaint was Tuesday in federal court in Central Islip charging William Umberto Martinez Chavez, 40, with illegal reentry into the United States. Martinez Chavez was a member of the MS-13 Gang and previously found guilty of manslaughter for a fatal stabbing on Long Island.

“Martinez Chavez is a known MS-13 gang member who was convicted of manslaughter, served his time and was removed from the United States, only to resurface on the same streets after having entered illegally,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. “It’s time to stop the political rhetoric and pay attention to criminal aliens, like Martinez Chavez, who are hiding in our communities. It is the job of the brave men and women of ICE to take those who break the laws of this country off the streets and see that they are removed back to their home countries.”

“As alleged, the defendant illegally returned to the United States after he served a lengthy New York State jail term for a homicide conviction on Long Island and was deported to El Salvador,” stated United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue. “There should be no doubt that this Office is firmly committed to prosecuting felons who reenter the United States, especially a violent offender such as the defendant who was affiliated with the deadly MS-13 criminal organization.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his appreciation to the Joint Criminal Alien Removal Taskforce and the United States Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Long Island Division, for their assistance with the case.

According to the complaint, Martinez Chavez, a Salvadoran national, was deported from the United States in October 2017, after having been convicted in May 2002 of manslaughter in connection with a May 2000 stabbing outside a deli in Huntington. Martinez Chavez stabbed the victim, severing his aorta and causing his death. The defendant has admitted to previously being a member of the MS-13 gang and still has MS-13 tattoos, including on his abdomen and “Mara Salvatrucha” on his chest.

If convicted, Martinez Chavez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years’ incarceration. The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The government’s case is being handled by EDNY’s Long Island Criminal Division.

Updated: 04/03/2019