Federal law enforcement agents rounded-up forty-five international fugitives in the United States as part of an operation dubbed “Project Red II.” The operation teamed up agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) with deputy U.S. Marshals to find and arrest international fugitives.
“Identifying and arresting foreign fugitives is a global law enforcement priority and commands the full commitment of ICE resources,” ERO Executive Associate Director Tom Homan said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “It is our duty to the American people and our partner countries to ensure that these individuals are removed from the shadows of our communities and returned to their home countries to face justice for their criminal acts.”
A “red notice” is a method used by international policing agencies to let other nations know when they have a wanted fugitive who they believe has fled their jurisdiction. These forty-five international fugitives were wanted in twenty-two countries for crimes including drug trafficking, rape, embezzlement, extortion, and kidnapping.
Some of the most violent fugitives included:
- Emilio Eliseo Coreas Avelar, 23, of El Salvador, arrested June 22 in Burke, Virginia, subject of an Interpol red notice from El Salvador for aggravated homicide and gang participation.
- Marleny Rodriguez-De Lovo, 43, of El Salvador, arrested June 21 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, subject of an Interpol red notice from El Salvador for participating in an organized criminal gang in furtherance of illegal criminal activity.
- Pothuvilage Ushan Bernard Karunaratne, 38, of Sri Lanka, arrested June 21 in Fort Worth, Texas, subject of an Interpol red notice from Sri Lanka for fraud.
- Sergei Levchenko, 44, of Russia, arrested June 21 in Miami, subject of an Interpol red notice from Russia for fraud.
- Jose Angel Vanegas, 36, of El Salvador, arrested June 23 in Houston, Texas, subject of an Interpol red notice from El Salvador for aggravated homicide and gang participation.
Federal officials are still searching for two wanted fugitives. Those fugitives are David Ernesto Perez-Viales, 34, of Nicaragua, who has an Interpol red notice for aggravated rape. He was last seen in Miami. The other is Andrew Andreyevich Vikhrev, 31, of Belarus, who is wanted on an Interpol red notice for illegal drug trafficking and who was last seen in Brooklyn, New York. Both men are now on ICE’s most wanted fugitives list.
The operation took place from June 21 until June 23, officials said.
ICE officials said they have removed 1,789 foreign fugitives from the U.S. who were wanted in their home country for serious crimes like those noted above. Their duties also include the removal of criminals and other immigrants who have been ordered deported from the U.S. During the past year, ERO agents have removed 235,413 of these criminal immigrants from our country.
A violent MS-13 gang member who was wanted for crimes in El Salvador was deported in April, Breitbart Texas reported. Just a few weeks later eighty-seven criminal aliens and gang members were arrested in Nevada as part of a five-day operation, Breitbart News’ Caroline May reported.
“For more than a decade, Interpol Washington and ICE have partnered to share critical law enforcement investigative information to keep fugitives off our streets,” Interpol Washington Director Geoffrey S. Shank said in a prepared statement. “The level of cooperation and partnership exemplified throughout Project Red II are a reflection of the achievements made possible when law enforcement agencies collaborate to ensure our nation and world are a safer place.”