NEWARK, NJ— A 25-year-old El Salvadoran fugitive, a member of the notorious gang Mara Salvatrucha, and wanted in his home country for criminal conspiracy, was removed from the U.S. Friday, August 24, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Melvin Isaac Martinez-Guevara departed the U.S. and was turned over to El Salvadoran law enforcement authorities where he is wanted for the offense of criminal conspiracy. He unlawfully entered the United States on an unknown date and location without being inspected, admitted, or paroled by an immigration officer.

On June 10, 2017, the Brick Township Police Department in Brick, NJ arrested him on criminal charges and referred MARTINEZ to ICE ERO after record checks revealed he was wanted in his home country of El Salvador for criminal conspiracy. ERO Newark arrested him and placed him in ICE custody pending removal proceedings. On June 27, 2018, the Immigration Judge ordered MARTINEZ removed from the United States to El Salvador.

“This individual, a known member of the murderous Mara Salvatrucha gang, entered the country illegally, already being wanted in his home country for criminal conspiracy,” said John Tsoukaris, field office director of ERO Newark. “The brave men and women of ICE have once again removed a dangerous criminal from the community.”

ICE removed or returned 226,119 aliens in fiscal year 2017. The proportion of FY17 removals resulting from ICE arrests increased by nearly ten percent over the previous fiscal year, and the number of ICE interior removals in FY17 increased by over 15,000 from FY16.

ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.