ICE El Paso removes 2 homicide and rape suspects to Mexico

EL PASO, Texas — Two Mexican men, who were wanted in their home country on unrelated homicide and rape charges, were deported Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in El Paso, Texas.

Agustin Gomez Fernandez, 55, and Francisco Javier Figueroa Martinez, 27, were handed over to Mexican law enforcement officials at El Paso’s Stanton Bridge Port of Entry.

An arrest warrant for Gomez Fernandez was issued out of Chihuahua, Mexico, April 10, 2006 for the alleged homicide of Jesus Eduardo Rodriguez Martinez. According to Mexican police reports, Gomez Fernandez asked to use the restroom in his ex-girlfriend’s home.  Upon exiting the restroom, he attacked Rodriguez Martinez by stabbing him several times with a knife, and landing a lethal blow to the thorax.

Gomez Fernandez illegally entered the United States near El Paso, Texas, in 1981. He was previously removed to Mexico Nov. 13, 1992 after serving a 24-month prison term for conspiring to import a controlled substance.

In a separate case, authorities in Michoacán, Mexico, issued an arrest warrant Nov. 10, 2011 for Figueroa Martinez for raping an 11-year-old girl on more than one occasion.  He threatened to harm her family if she reported him to authorities.

Figueroa Martinez first illegally entered the United States July 3, 2003 near Sasabe, Arizona. He was deported multiple times after several subsequent illegal re-entries. His most recent illegal entry was Dec. 1, 2014.

“Removing these two fugitives — the first two in this new year — shows ERO’s commitment and resolve to keeping our country and communities safe,” said Adrian P. Macias, field office director for ERO El Paso. “Violent criminals who flee their home countries to avoid prosecution should know we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the United States is not used as their safe haven from justice.”

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.

In fiscal year 2014, ICE conducted 315,943 removals nationwide. More than 85 percent of ICE’s total removals had been previously convicted of a crime.

In addition to convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants — individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE — and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.