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ERO Salt Lake City removes Mexican national for firearm possession

SALT LAKE CITY — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Salt Lake City removed an unlawfully present foreign fugitive April 18 wanted by law enforcement authorities in his home country of Mexico to face charges of possession of a firearm without a license.

Luis Enrique Villalpando Villagomez, 28, departed from Las Vegas, Nevada, and arrived at California’s San Ysidro Port of Entry, where officials transferred him into the custody of authorities from Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection admitted Villalpando to the United States through Hidalgo, Texas, on March 8, 2023, and he violated the terms of his admittance.

The Santaquin Police Department in Santaquin arrested Villalpando for the offenses of burglary and aggravated assault April 27, 2023. ERO encountered Villapando at the Guilford County Detention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, following his arrest for an outstanding arrest warrant out of Utah for aggravated assault. He was then extradited from North Carolina to Utah.

Upon extradition back to Utah, officers with ERO encountered Villapando at the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork Jan. 25, and filed a detainer with the jail. Villapando was released to ERO custody March 12 and transferred to the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump, Nevada, to await immigration proceedings. An immigration judge ordered Villapando removed March 26. Officers carried out the judge’s order and returned him to Mexico April 18.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the 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 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.

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 crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ERO’s mission to preserve public safety on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROSaltLakeCity.



Originally published at https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ero-salt-lake-city-removes-mexican-national-firearm-possession

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