ICE nabs illegal immigrant MS-13 gang member released back onto streets after manslaughter conviction

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested an illegal immigrant MS-13 gang member who was released onto the streets in Maryland in 2019 after he served prison time for voluntary manslaughter, despite an ICE request to transfer him into its custody so he could be deported.

The agency announced that it had arrested the 26-year-old Honduran on December 12, who had been convicted of the crime in 2016 and had been validated as a member of MS-13 — a gang known for horrific and gruesome crimes, and whose motto is said to be “Mata, viola, controla” — which means “Kill, rape, control.” 

He had initially been encountered as an unaccompanied child in 2014 by Border Patrol and was transferred to the custody of his father. He was arrested and charged with assault in 2015 and was convicted of resisting arrest in 2016.

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Later in 2016, he was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree assault, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree, conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree, conspiracy to commit assault in the second degree, having a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure, having a handgun on his person, reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm by a minor.

ICE then lodged an immigration detainer — a request that the agency be notified when he is due to be released so it could transfer him into ICE custody and deport him — with the detention center in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and the remaining charges were dismissed. However, the court suspended all but 751 days of his sentence, so he was released in January 2019.

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Crucially, the county ignored the detainer and released him from custody — which is in line with “sanctuary” policies that mostly refuse to honor ICE detainers.

It has taken nearly five years for ICE to be able to arrest him, which they did outside his residence in Hyattsville. He is now in ICE custody pending his removal.

ICE has consistently expressed its frustration with jurisdictions that use “sanctuary” policies not to alert ICE of the release of criminal illegal immigrants back onto the streets and did so in a release on Friday.

“This unlawfully present noncitizen is not only a member of a violent street gang, but he has also proven to be a severe threat to the public by killing one of our residents,” ERO Baltimore acting Field Office Director Darius Reeves said in a statement. 

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“Violent noncitizen criminals like this Honduran national need to be removed from this country,” he said. “It is a shame when local law enforcement agencies refuse to honor ICE detainers. ERO Baltimore will not relent in our pursuit of justice for the people of our Maryland communities.”

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