SAN ANTONIO — A man from of El Salvador, who is wanted in his home country for kidnapping, was deported Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
This removal demonstrates the collaborative efforts between the United States and El Salvador to locate Salvadoran criminal fugitives in the United States and return them to face justice.
Mario Ernesto Huezo-Vasquez, 32, departed the United States Tuesday onboard an ICE Air Operations Unit charter flight. Upon arrival in El Salvador, ERO officers turned him over to officials from the Salvadoran Civilian National Police (PNC).
"ICE will continue to focus its enforcement operations on identifying, arresting and removing dangerous criminals who pose the greatest risk to our communities," said Enrique M. Lucero, field office director for ERO San Antonio. "ICE works closely with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes."
Huezo-Vasquez was arrested Oct. 27, 2013 by agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol near Penitas, Texas. He was ultimately transferred to ICE custody and detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas. On March 6, 2014, an immigration judge issued him a final order of removal. While in custody, El Salvador's national police issued an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest. According to this Notice, Huezo-Vasquez is wanted for kidnapping a woman in 2008 and for recruiting members to the 18th Street Gang in October 2009. ICE officers worked closely with the Salvadoran PNC, the Salvadoran National Interpol Office and Salvadoran immigration to deport Huezo-Vasquez.
ICE routinely uses special air charters to transport aliens who have final orders of removal. 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.
In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Nearly 60 percent of ICE's total removals had been previously convicted of a criminal offense; 82 percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.