Baltimore arrests Guatemalan MS-13 gang member convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter in Maryland.

BALTIMORE — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore apprehended an undocumented noncitizen and self-admitted member of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter Nov. 20. Deportation officers from ERO Baltimore’s Fugitive Operations Team arrested the 21-year-old Guatemalan national near his residence in Hyattsville.

“This Guatemalan noncitizen has proven to be a significant threat to the people of Maryland, said ERO Baltimore acting Field Office Director Darius Reeves. “Not only is he a member of a notoriously violent criminal enterprise, but he attempted to kill someone in our community. ERO Baltimore will aggressively pursue any noncitizen criminal who attempts to bring harm to the residents that we have sworn to protect.”
The Guatemalan national entered the United States on an unknown date at an unknown location without being admitted, inspected or paroled by an immigration official.

On Jan. 11, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol encountered the undocumented noncitizen as an unaccompanied minor near Roma, Texas, and served him with a notice to appear before a Department of Justice immigration judge as a noncitizen present without admission or parole. Two days later, U.S. Border Patrol transferred him to the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s International Education Services-Driscoll in Houston.

In February 2017, the Office of Refugee Resettlement transferred custody to the noncitizen’s mother, who resided in Hyattsville.

The Prince George’s County Police Department arrested the noncitizen in November 2018 and charged him with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, two counts of assault first degree, firearm use/felony-violent crime, two counts of assault second degree, two counts of reckless endangerment, and handgun on person.

The Guatemalan national admitted to police that he was affiliated with MS-13 in May 2019.

The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro convicted the Guatemalan noncitizen of attempted voluntary manslaughter in July 2019 and sentenced him to 10 years of confinement followed by five years of supervised probation. The judge suspended more than eight years of his sentence and dismissed the remaining charges.

A Department of Justice immigration judge ordered the undocumented noncitizen removed to Guatemala in absentia in February 2020.

He will remain in custody pending removal to Guatemala.

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 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (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.