Foreign fugitive wanted for arms trafficking removed to Nicaragua

“This is a prime example of how ICE works with federal and international law enforcement partners to identify and remove noncitizens who are wanted for committing crimes abroad,” said ERO New Orleans Field Office Director Mellissa Harper. “Every time ERO New Orleans removes a potentially dangerous foreign fugitive from the community, it increases public safety for us all.”

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NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New Orleans removed an unlawfully present Nicaraguan wanted in El Salvador for arms trafficking.

On April 13, Maximino Pichardo, a 37-year-old citizen of Nicaragua, was flown via an ICE Air operations charter flight from Alexandria International Airport in Alexandria, Louisiana, to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua, and transferred to local law enforcement authorities.

U.S. Border Patrol encountered Pichardo near Eagle Pass, Texas, on July 19, 2022, and transferred him into ERO New Orleans’ custody on July 23. On July 30, 2022, ERO New Orleans confirmed Pichardo was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice.

On Jan. 25, 2023, ERO New Orleans issued Pichardo a notice to appear charging removability. On March 2, a federal immigration judge with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review ordered Pichardo removed from the United States to Nicaragua.

The ERO New Orleans field office oversees suboffices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

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

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crimes and/or suspicious activity by dialing 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

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

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