Los Angeles, California - Two Salvadoran MS-13 gang members wanted in El Salvador for unrelated aggravated homicides were removed Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Los Angeles, California.
Gerson Adiel Segovia Alvarado and Nilson De Jesus Lozano Hernandez were transferred into Interpol custody immediately following their arrival in San Salvador, El Salvador.
ERO officers in Los Angeles arrested Segovia Alvarado after receiving information from the Los Angeles Police Department suggesting that he was in the area and wanted for aggravated homicide in El Salvador. According to an Interpol Red Notice, on Feb. 24, 2013, Segovia Alvarado and two accomplices allegedly beat Julio Alberto Coreas Ticas to death with a baseball bat. A warrant for his arrest was issued Dec. 12, 2013.
Segovia Alvarado subsequently fled from El Salvador and illegally entered the United States in May 2014 at an unknown location. He was ordered removed by an immigration judge March 23, 2015, and his subsequent appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals was dismissed in April 2015.
In a separate case, Lozano Hernandez was also charged with aggravated homicide. According to police reports, Lozano Hernandez and his MS-13 gang associates targeted and planned the murder of Jose Joel Ventura Romero for being in a rival gang. On April 5, 2008, Lozano Hernandez and his MS-13 accomplices allegedly arrived at Ventura Romero’s liquor store and opened fire, resulting in Ventura Romero’s death.
In June 2008, shortly after the alleged murder, Lozano Hernandez illegally entered the United States near San Ysidro, California. ERO officers arrested Lozano in June 2012 near Newport Beach, California, after receiving information about his warrant. He was placed in removal proceedings and ordered removed June 30, 2012. Lozano Hernandez filed several appeals that have all been denied.
“Violent criminals who flee to our country hoping to escape justice will find no refuge in southern California,” said David Jennings, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. “As these cases make clear, ICE is working closely with its international partners to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes.”
Segovia Alvarado and Lozano Hernandez are the latest removals to El Salvador falling under ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward the identification of foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law.
In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 550 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), El Salvador’s national police.
SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.