Federal Agents Continue To Catch Violent Offenders And Fugitives Living In Texas

Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

September 20, 2023

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations officers (ICE ERO) working in San Antonio and Houston continue to arrest and process for removal violent foreign nationals who are living in the two largest cities closest to the border in Texas.

San Antonio and Houston ICE ERO officers recently arrested 25 illegal foreign nationals during a national operation conducted last month. They prioritized locating fugitives with criminal convictions, including burglary, domestic violence, driving under the influence, drug distribution or trafficking, sexual abuse or exploitation, or unlawful possession or use of a firearm. They also prioritized locating individuals with executable final orders of removal who had illegally re-entered the U.S. after they were previously removed.

San Antonio officers arrested a 49-year-old Mexican national convicted of felony indecency with a child by exposure, a 50-year-old El Salvadoran national convicted of assault causing bodily injury, and a 29-year-old Honduran convicted of bringing in and harboring noncitizens.

These agents are responsible for removing illegal foreign nationals from the U.S. and bringing them to their home country. One recent example is a San Antonio ICE ERO removal of a Honduran national, Wilmer Manuel Castro Murillo, 44, who was returned to Honduras earlier this year. He had previously been removed to Honduras in July 2007, November 2011 and July 2014 after being arrested and convicted of a range of crimes. Agents also learned when he was arrested the last time in the U.S. that he was wanted in Honduras for homicide.

In the national operation last month, Houston ICE ERO officers arrested a 45-year-old, twice-removed Mexican national living in Houston. The Mexican national was previously convicted twice of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing bodily harm and for illegal reentry and of driving under the influence in two counties.

Houston ICE ERO agents also arrested a 51-year-old Mexican national who had been previously removed from the U.S. three times and illegally re-entered. The Mexican national had also been convicted in Harris County of arson, assault of a family member and driving under the influence.

Agents also arrested a 47-year-old Mexican national in Houston who had been convicted twice for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, failure to stop and render aid, evading arrest and driving under the influence.

“Many of the noncitizens who were targeted by ERO Houston during this operation are not only repeat offenders of U.S. immigration law; they have also repeatedly violated our nation’s criminal laws,” ERO Houston Field Office Director Bret Bradford said in a statement. “By conducting an immigration enforcement operation that prioritized the apprehension of priority fugitive noncitizens and habitual immigration offenders who have been convicted of serious criminal offenses, we were able to remove from the community those noncitizens who presented the greatest threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories, including a combined 198,498 associated charges and convictions for 21,531 assault offenses, 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses, 5,554 weapons offenses, 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.