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SALT LAKE CITY — Officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Salt Lake City removed a fugitive wanted in Mexico Aug. 30.
Miguel Tellez-Vasquez, 57, is wanted in his native Mexico for homicide. He was transported Aug. 30 from Boise, Idaho, via air transport and arrived the same day in San Diego, where authorities drove him to the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Upon arrival at the border, Tellez was turned over to local authorities in Mexico.
“Foreign fugitives gaming the immigration system to evade justice in their home countries would do well to avoid the Rocky Mountain region,” said ERO Salt Lake City Field Office Director Michael Bernacke. “We will find you, we will arrest you and we will extradite you.”
Tellez entered the United States near San Diego, California, without admission by an immigration officer in September 1986. Tellez had several brushes with the law prior to an arrest for trafficking methamphetamines in 2004. He was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison on several counts of drug charges June 21, 2004, by the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the state of Idaho. ERO officers in Helena, Montana, placed an immigration detainer with the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) July 24, 2004. An immigration judge in Seattle, Washington, ordered Tellez removed from the United States July 11, 2005.
On August 1, ERO Salt Lake City arrested Tellez pursuant to the immigration detainer lodged with IDOC in 2004 and was transferred to ERO custody in preparation for his removal from the United States.
ERO officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland.
Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the 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. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.
In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 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.
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.
Members of the public can report crimes or suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing ICE’s online tip form.
Learn more about ERO’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROSaltLakeCity.
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