RENO, Nev. – A 64-year-old convicted sex-offender and Mexican national, illegally present in the U.S., was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers March 12 following an anonymous tip.
Demetrio Lopez-Pena was convicted of rape by force and sodomy by force by the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego in 1982 and received an aggregated sentence of twelve years. His other convictions include a 1979 DUI conviction, and a 2010 conviction for failure to register as a sex offender and DUI, where he was sentence to 32 months prison.
Lopez-Pena, an ICE fugitive, was identified and apprehended following a tip received by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Task Force and relayed to ICE immigration officers in Reno, Nevada.
Lopez-Pena entered the United States legally in 1968 on an immigrant visa. Following a series of convictions, he was served a notice to appear, charging removability pursuant to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), due to his convictions of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude.
On June 16, 2016, an immigration judge in Los Angeles, California ordered Lopez-Pena removed in absentia from the United States to Mexico. (Note: "in absentia" references the judge issuing a final order of removal as Lopez-Pena failed to appear for his immigration hearing.)
Lopez-Pena will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States to Mexico.
ICE removed or returned 267,000 aliens in fiscal year 2019. ERO arrested 143,000 aliens, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members; as well as individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws, such as those who illegally re-enter the country after a prior removal, and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.
Individuals across the world can report suspicious criminal activity to the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Highly trained specialists take reports from both the public and law enforcement agencies on more than 400 laws enforced by ICE HSI. Contact the toll-free tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Keeping communities safe is not only up to law enforcement – the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) relies on the general public to provide tips on wanted fugitives, non-compliant sex offenders, and threats to the judiciary. Visit the U.S. Marshals Service website to submit a tip.