South Texas ICE officers remove twice-deported Salvadoran gang member wanted for 3 aggravated homicides and discharging a firearm
SAN ANTONIO — A law enforcement fugitive from El Salvador and member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, who is wanted for aggravated homicide and discharging a firearm, was deported Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in San Antonio.
The government of El Salvador has a program called “Los 100 Mas Buscados,” among which today’s detainee is part of.
Santiago Humberto Rodriguez-Aparicio, 41, was flown to El Salvador April 21 onboard a charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations (IAO) Unit. Upon arrival, Rodriguez-Aparicio was turned over to officials from El Salvador’s Civilian National Police (PNC).
The El Salvador arrest warrant states that on April 11, 2015, Rodriguez-Aparacio and several other gang members were involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of three individuals. Rodriguez-Aparicio is wanted for both aggravated homicide and discharging a firearm.
On Feb. 8, 2007, a federal immigration judge ordered Rodriguez-Aparicio deported to El Salvador. He was ultimately removed from Phoenix, Arizona, on March 5, 2007. On Jan. 24, 2009, Rodriguez-Aparicio was arrested and later convicted in Las Vegas, Nevada, for being an alien unlawfully possessing a firearm. The U.S. District Court of Nevada sentenced him to 41 months in federal prison. On Feb. 10, 2012, he was removed back to El Salvador from New Orleans, Louisiana.
On March 30, 2015, Rodriguez-Aparicio again illegally re-entered the United States and was arrested by U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection’s Border Patrol near Hidalgo, Texas, and was prosecuted for re-entering the United States after being deported. The Southern District of Texas in McAllen, Texas, sentenced him to 27 months in federal prison. On March 11, 2017, he was transferred to ICE custody where he remained until his removal.
ERO officers removed Rodriguez-Apacicio April 21 and turned him over to Salvadoran authorities.
This removal was part of ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward the identification of foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law. In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 600 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC). SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
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. In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
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.