January 31, 2023

NEW ORLEANS — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New Orleans removed 31-year-old Jose Refugio Mendez Gomez, an illegally resident Mexican citizen wanted for murder in his home country of Mexico.

Officials, with the assistance of ERO Harlingen, ground-transported Mendez Gomez and handed him over to Mexican authorities at the port of entry in Brownsville, Texas.

“The return of this fugitive to Mexico is an excellent example of how ICE is identifying criminal non-citizens in Louisiana and ultimately working with our international law enforcement partners to identify individuals wanted for alleged crimes abroad,” said ERO New Orleans Field Director Mellissa Harper. “ICE prioritizes the arrest and deportation of non-citizen refugees and as a result, our communities are safer.”

Mendez Gomez entered the United States as a nonimmigrant on April 3, 2018, and violated the terms of his entry by not departing by July 12. Authorities in Guanajuato, Mexico, issued an arrest warrant for Mendez on April 12, 2019, on charges of manslaughter.

ERO New Orleans encountered Mendez Gomez on August 21, 2022 after the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Gretna, Louisiana arrested him for aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.

On November 1, 2022, the ERO New Orleans took Mendez Gomez into ICE custody and issued him with a notice under Section 237(a)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act that he was a non- – Citizen who had stayed longer is reported as being deportable than allowed. On November 30, an immigration judge ordered Mendez’s deportation from the United States to Mexico. Mendez waived his right to appeal.

The ERO New Orleans office oversees sub-offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

ICE officers make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, based on their experience as law enforcement officers, and in a manner that best protects against the greatest threats to the home country.

In FY2022, ERO arrested 46,396 non-citizens with criminal records; This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sexual offenses and sexual assaults; 5,554 gun offenses; 1,501 homicides; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

ERO, a division of ICE, upholds US immigration law, inside and outside our borders. ERO operations target public safety threats such as convicted criminal non-citizens and gang members who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-enter the country illegally after being deported, and immigrant refugees ordered by federal immigration judges were to be deported. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in prosecuting foreign fugitives for crimes committed abroad at large in the United States. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration process, including identification and arrest, detention, bail management, supervised release, transportation and deportation. In addition, ERO repatriates non-citizens whose deportation has been ordered from the United States to more than 150 countries worldwide.

Members of the public may report crimes and suspicious activity by dialing 866-347-2423 or by filling out the online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on Twitter @ERONewOrleans.

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