Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported Hector Edgardo Martinez-Cuellar, 26, for the third time on Friday, the agency said in a news release.
In Short: Gang member Hector Edgardo Martinez-Cuellar, a Salvadoran national, was deported on Friday for the third time. He is wanted by Salvadoran authorities for aggravated homicide and “terrorist organization-related charges”.
Context: Martinez-Cuellar first entered the U.S. through the southern border in 2013, before being deported in 2014. He entered again in 2015 and was deported the second time later that year.
He was arrested yet again in February 2020 in Stratford, Connecticut, after entering the United States illegally a third time. A Boston-based fugitive operations team from ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) conducted the arrest.
“Unfortunately, criminal alien gang members don’t take a break from their activities during a pandemic,” stated Todd Lyons, the acting Field Office Director for ERO Boston. “Fortunately for the public, however, neither do the dedicated officers of ICE’s fugitive operations teams. ICE officers risked their own safety to arrest this dangerous gang member and ultimately remove him from the United States.”
Martinez-Cuellar is a known member of the 18th Street Gang, an El Salvador-designated narco-terrorist organization involved in international drug trafficking.
He has now been turned over to El Salvador to face justice for crimes committed there.
The Big Picture: Martinez-Cuellar’s case shows the importance of President Trump’s ongoing immigration enforcement efforts.
Murderers and rapists with ties to terrorism and the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States are continuing to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Even after being deported once, they often return to the United States through our porous southern border to continue their criminal activities. Only with improved border security measures – most importantly a border wall – can this problem be effectively confronted.