WASHINGTON – Deportation officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, D.C. field office arrested a Salvadoran fugitive, who is listed as one of El Salvador’s top 100 most wanted criminals. ERO Washington D.C. apprehended Herberth Bonilla-Garcia, 40, during a targeted operation in Manassas, Virginia Dec. 1.
Bonilla-Garcia previously entered the U.S. at least twice on an unknown date, at an unknown location without, and without having been admitted or paroled by a designated immigration official. He was previously removed from the U.S. in both 2006 and 2012.
“Herberth Bonilla-Garcia has a history of unlawfully entering the U.S. and this time he apparently did so to escape justice in his home country,” said Assistant Field Office Director Erik Weiss of ERO Washington, D.C. “The United States is not a safe haven for the world’s criminals. ERO Washington, D.C. remains committed to protecting our residents by enforcing our laws and exhausting every effort to ensure fugitives face the justice they seek to evade.”
In January 2015 and April 2015, the Government of El Salvador issued arrest warrants for Bonilla-Garcia for the first for a charge of illicit association and second for aggravated extortion.
On Oct. 14, 2022, ERO Washington, D.C. received a lead referral for Bonilla-Garcia from the FBI regarding his possible presence in the Northern Virginia area.
An ICE foreign service national investigator for the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador confirmed Bonilla-Garcia was listed on El Salvador’s Top 100 Most Wanted Criminals and verified the warrants for illicit association and aggravated extortion.
Bonilla Garcia is being held in ERO custody until his removal to El Salvador.
ICE officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials 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, or 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. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.
In fiscal year 2021, ERO arrested 12,025 individuals with aggravated felony convictions. Offenses associated with noncitizens arrested in FY 2021 included 1,506 homicide related offenses, 3,415 sexual assaults, 19,549 assaults, 2,717 robberies and 1,063 kidnappings.
ICE’s ERO directorate upholds U.S. immigration law at, within and beyond our borders. ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally reentered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in targeting foreign fugitives or fugitive arrest and removal cases of those who are wanted for crimes committed abroad and who are now at-large in the United States. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, detention, bond management, supervised release, transportation and removal. In addition, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the United States. to more than 170 countries around the world.
Members of the public can report crimes and/or suspicious activity by dialing 866-DHS-2ICE (866-347-2423) or completing the online tip form.
Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on Twitter at @EROWashington.