The arrest occurred in Houston on January 2, 2019, for local criminal charges. Last Friday, Cruz was flown to Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador.
ICE agent Patrick Contreras said in a statement, “The ongoing cooperation between the United States and Salvadoran governments resulted in this foreign fugitive being safely returned to his home country where he will stand trial for his alleged crimes.”
In Fiscal Year 2018, ICE removed almost 260,000 illegal immigrants. In that same time frame, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested over 142,000 illegal aliens with criminal convictions, pending charges, or already established final orders.
MS-13 is estimated to have between 50,000 to 70,000 members nationwide. A 2018 Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) study estimated between 600 and 1,000 MS-13 members operate in the Lone Star State.
The Texas DPS lists MS-13 as a Tier 1 public safety gang threat.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.