SAN ANTONIO —A Honduran fugitive, wanted in his home country for a double murder, was deported Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Santos Ventura Meija-Mendez, 24, was flown to Honduras onboard a charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations (IAO) Unit. Upon arrival, Meija-Mendez was turned over to Honduran authorities.
According to Honduran authorities, on July 11, 2016, Meija-Mendez entered the home of his ex-wife around 4 a.m. in Northern Honduras. Authorities claim he used a sharp machete to kill his ex-wife and his mother-in-law in a crime of passion.
On July 22, 2017, Meija-Mendez illegally entered the United States near Eagle Pass, Texas, and was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol. CBP served him with an expedited removal order charging him with entering the U.S. without an immigration visa. Three days later, a U.S. federal magistrate judge in Del Rio, Texas, convicted Meija-Mendez with illegal entry and sentenced him to 10 days imprisonment. After he completed his prison sentence, he was transferred to ICE custody.
While conducting records checks during routine processing, ERO San Antonio processed Meija-Mendez’s information through the Criminal History Information Sharing (CHIS) initiative. Because of the joint cooperation between the governments of the United States and Honduras, Meija-Mendez’s warrant was found through this process. ERO San Antonio then confirmed the warrant with ICE’s Assistant Attaché for Removal in Honduras.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. 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.
ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety.
ICE Air History
ICE routinely uses special air charters to transport aliens who have final orders of removal from an immigration judge. Staffed by ICE ERO Air Operations officers, these air charters enable the agency to repatriate large groups of deportees in an efficient, expeditious and humane manner. Since 2006, ICE Air Operations has supported ERO by providing mass air transportation and removal coordination services to ERO field offices nationwide. Staffed by ERO officers, these air charters enable the agency to repatriate large groups of deportees in an efficient, expeditious and humane manner.