Colombian National Deported Following Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Colombian national was deported back to his country on Monday following his conviction of sexually abusing a minor, according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau. Robert Alexis Saldarriaga-Yepes, 20, had been living in New Market.

A statement from ICE says he was arrested in December 6th, 2012 by Frederick County Sheriff's Deputies on child exploitation-related charges.

Sadarriaga was convicted of sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl on May 20th, 2013, according to ICE. Judge G. Edward Dwyer sentenced Saldarriaga to 30-years in prison, with all but 18-months suspended.

ICE says Saldarriaga was encountered while at the Frederick County Detention Center by 287(g) cross designated immigration enforcement officers and later placed in immigration removal proceedings. The agency says it carried out its administrative deportation order on September 12th, 2013. On March 10th, 2014 he was taken to the Worcester County Detention Center pending his removal.

Saldarriaga was flown by ICE Air Operations charter flight to El Dorado Airport in Bogota, Colombia, where he was turned over to Colombian law enforcement authorities.

"By removing child sex offenders from our streets and our country, ICE is continuing our commitment to improving public safety in our communities and our nation's children in particular," said Dorothy Herrera-Niles, field officer for Enforcement and Removal Operations in Baltimore, in a statement.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office has been working with ICE in the 287(g) program to remove immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes. That decision by Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has been controversial, but he defends it in a statement. "This is one of many cases that should demonstrate the importance of the 287(g) program as a public safety tool to protect our citizens. This convicted child predator will not be on the streets of Frederick County victimizing our children," Jenkins says.

Saldarriaga came to the United States from Columbia August 12th, 2010. He was a student attending Carroll Christian Schools in Westminster.