ICE Claims Montgomery County Ignored Three Detainers of MS-13 Gang Member Following Arrests

In a press release from Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement states that they “apprehended an undocumented Salvadoran noncitizen convicted of illegally possessing an unregistered firearm. Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Criminal Apprehension Program arrested the 24-year-old member of the notorious MS-13 street gang Jan. 10 at his residence in Silver Spring.” In the press release, ERO Baltimore claims that Montgomery County ignored ICE detainers on three separate occasions by releasing the man following arrests and incarceration.

Per the Press Release: “This Salvadoran noncitizen represented a significant threat to the residents of our Maryland communities,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Darius Reeves. “Not only is he a validated member of a notorious street gang, but he also displayed a willingness to unlawfully carry a firearm in public. ERO Baltimore will continue prioritize public safety by removing such threats from our streets.”

The Salvadoran noncitizen unlawfully entered the United States in June 2014. U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, as an unaccompanied noncitizen child and served him with a notice to appear before a Department of Justice immigration judge as a noncitizen present without admission or parole. Later that month, Border Patrol officials transferred him to ERO El Paso’s custody, which transferred him to the Office of Refugee Resettlement at Fort Sill, a U.S. Army installation in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In July 2014, the Office of Refugee Resettlement released him into his mother’s custody in Rockville, Maryland. A Department of Justice immigration judge ordered the unlawfully present noncitizen to be removed from the United States to El Salvador in absentia in August 2014, after he failed to appear for his hearing. The Montgomery County Police Department arrested the Salvadoran noncitizen in November 2016 and charged him with assault in the first degree, con-assault in the first degree, and weapons-related offenses.

Two weeks later, ERO Baltimore lodged an immigration detainer against the noncitizen with the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville. In February 2017, the Montgomery County Detention Center declined to honor the immigration detainer and released the Salvadoran national from custody. Three weeks later, the District Court for Montgomery County in Rockville remanded the charges in juvenile court.

In March 2017, the HSI San Antonio field office in Falcon Heights, Texas, confirmed that the Salvadoran noncitizen is an associate of the MS-13 street gang. The Montgomery County Police Department arrested him in March 2018 and charged him with crimes related to making a false statement to a peace officer and obstruction. The next day, ERO Washington, D.C. lodged an immigration detainer against him with the Montgomery County Detention Center.

In May 2018, the District Court for Montgomery County dismissed the charges. The Montgomery County Detention Center declined to honor ERO Washington, D.C.’s immigration detainer and released the gang member from custody. The Montgomery County Police Department again arrested him in January 2022 and charged him with weapons and ammunition related offenses. The Circuit Court for Montgomery County convicted the noncitizen of illegally possessing an unregistered firearm in September 2022 and sentenced him to five years of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised probation. The court suspended four years of his imprisonment and dismissed the remaining charges.

ERO Baltimore lodged an immigration detainer with the Montgomery County Detention Center against him in January 2023. However, in August 2023, the facility declined to honor it and released the gang member from custody. Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Criminal Apprehension Program arrested him Jan. 10 at his residence in Silver Spring. He will remain in ERO custody pending his removal from the United States.

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ERO lodges immigration detainers against noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement. An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to state or local law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as early as possible before a removable noncitizen is released from their custody. Detainers request that state or local law enforcement agencies maintain custody of the noncitizen for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time the individual would otherwise be released, allowing ERO to assume custody for removal purposes in accordance with federal law.

Detainers are a critical public safety tool because they focus enforcement resources on removable noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity. Detainers increase the safety of all parties involved — ERO personnel, law enforcement officials, the removable noncitizens, and the public — by allowing an arrest to be made in a secure and controlled custodial setting as opposed to at-large within the community. Since detainers result in the direct transfer of a noncitizen from state or local custody to ERO custody, they also minimize the potential that an individual will reoffend. Additionally, detainers conserve scarce government resources by allowing ERO to take criminal noncitizens into custody directly rather than expending resources locating these individuals at-large.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from DHS and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

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AC Milan Soccer Camp at Maryland Soccerplex

AC Milan Academy is hosting a soccer camp at Maryland Soccerplex from March 1st through March 3rd for girls and boys aged 5 to 16 from any club who want to develop their soccer skills and learn the unique methodology of AC Milan directly from AC Milan coaches.

March 1st (Friday) 6pm-7:30pm

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Price: $349 + AC Milan Junior Camp Kit

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