LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. immigration authorities on Friday deported a Salvadoran gang member wanted in his country in the slaying of a government prosecutor, officials said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement flew 21-year-old Javier Arnoldo Ceron Gomez from Mesa, Arizona, to San Salvador and turned him over to authorities, the agency said in a statement.
The case is part of a U.S. government effort to deport foreigners to countries where they are wanted for crimes if they don’t qualify to stay in the U.S. instead of seeking to formally extradite them.
“Violent criminals who believe they can evade justice by fleeing to the U.S. should be on notice – they will find no refuge here,” ICE director Sarah Saldaña said in the statement.
Immigration officials said they were notified by Interpol in June that the MS-13 gang member was wanted in connection with the March shooting death of Salvadoran prosecuting attorney Andres Ernesto Oliva Tejada.
Ceron was arrested a week later at a car dealership in Santa Ana, California, where he worked washing cars. Since he had entered the country illegally in April, he was placed in deportation proceedings, where a judge ruled he should be returned to El Salvador, ICE said.
Ceron did not have an immigration attorney, said Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman.
Another suspect in Oliva’s slaying was previously deported, and two others are currently detained in the U.S., where they face deportation proceedings, Kice said.