Two Salvadoran men wanted for the aggravated homicide of three men in 2011 in their home country were deported Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
This removal is the latest result of stepped up collaborative efforts to locate Salvadoran criminal fugitives in the United States and return them to El Salvador to face justice.
Carlos Gomar-Castro, 26, and Willfredys Castro-Villalobos, 33, were flown to El Salvador April 15 onboard a charter flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations (IAO) Unit. Upon arrival, both were turned over to officials from El Salvador’s Policia Nacional Civil (PNC).
“Identifying and removing foreign fugitives from the United States is an ICE priority,” said Steven P. Boll, field office director of ERO Houston. “The cooperation between the United States and the El Salvadoran government resulted in these foreign fugitives being safely returned to their home country where they will face justice.”
Both Gomar-Castro and Castro-Villalobos were encountered and arrested Feb. 19 by ERO’s Fugitive Operations officers in Houston. Salvadoran authorities issued a warrant Jan. 10, 2015 for their arrest for aggravated homicide in September 2011.
According to the Salvadoran warrant, Gomar-Castro and Castro-Villalobos were travelling in a vehicle that struck three men on a bicycle. One of the men on the bike was run over and killed, while two others fled on foot. Gomar-Castro and Castro-Villalobos gave chase, ultimately catching and killing the two men.
Gomar-Castro was previously encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol (BP) agents and charged with being inadmissable to the U.S. and was placed on bond in January 2013.
Castro-Villalobos was previously encountered by BP agents in September 2005 and charged with being inadmissible to the U.S. He was released on his own recognizance, but failed to appear at his immigration hearing. On Dec. 1, 2005, an immigration judge ordered his removal in absentia. In April 2008, Castro-Villalobos was encountered at the Harris County (Texas) Jail and turned over to ICE. He had been previously deported to El Salvador May 5, 2008.
The deportations of Gomar-Castro and Castro-Villalobos are examples of expanded bi-national cooperation to identify, arrest and repatriate Salvadoran criminal suspects who have fled to the United States to avoid prosecution in their home country. As part of this effort, ICE officers are working closely with PNC, the Salvadoran National Interpol Office and Salvadoran immigration.
Gomar-Castro and Castro-Villalobos are the latest Salvadoran removals as part of ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward identifying foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law. In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 480 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by PNC. SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. 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.
This Thursday, April 16, neighborhood leaders from community associations on Houston’s near northwest side will gather with area residents to protest METRO’s proposed sale of the Pinemont Park and Ride to the Houston Housing Authority.
At a recent meeting of the METRO Real Estate Committee, 150 area residents voiced their concerns and listened to members of the HHA describe the 300-unit low-income apartment complex they intend to build on the property and their threats to use eminent domain to acquire the property should METRO decide to place it on the open market.
This project will benefit neither the surrounding neighborhoods nor the potential residents of the new complex, who would find themselves a long way from viable transportation options and needed services.
Residents and neighborhood leaders will address political leaders and METRO board members at this Town Hall in hopes METRO will agree to delay the sale and place the property on the open market. With the expansion of 290 to be completed in the near future, this property will undoubtedly grow exponentially in value attracting numerous bidders and increasing the return to METRO and taxpayers. Additionally, commercial rather than residential development of the property promises to bring much needed economic growth to the entire area.
“Our property values are finally on the rise thanks to private residents rebuilding in the area,” said David Ojeman, President of the Forest West Community Improvement Association. “If we get another high-density complex of any kind, that will certainly reverse that growth.”
Who: Neighborhood leaders from Forest West, Forest Pines, Pinemont Park, Mangum Manor, Candlelight Oaks and other surrounding communities.
What: Town Hall Meeting
Where: Advent Lutheran Church Life Center, 5820 Pinemont Drive, Houston, Texas 77092
When: Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
The Afro American Sheriff Deputy League (AASDL) has called this press conference to address the recent allegations made against one of our members, Sergeant Ricky Wilson- Pickens, who along with another Sergeant, has been charged with two counts of making a false entry in a government document involving an inmate in the Harris County jail.
These charges have been levied by both the office of the Sheriff Department and the investigator of the District Attorney office.
These allegations are completely false. It is unfortunate that the Sheriff Department would, at the time when the public is so weary of the action of law enforcement officials, take this opportunity to advance its own political agenda, by throwing two of their own under the bus. And to indict these men without first conducting a fair and impartial investigation is absolutely reprehensible. We are certain that after all the facts are made known, it will be clear that Sergeant Wilson- Pickens as well as the other Sergeant were made scapegoats. We look forward to Sergeant Wilson- Pickens’ day in court and he can count on the many men and women in our organization as well as other deputies throughout Harris County to stand shoulder to shoulder with him throughout this process.
AASDL (Afro American Sheriff Deputy League) will hold a News/Press Conference concerning the charges that were filed on Sergeant Ricky Pickens-Wilson on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 09:30AM at 3333 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77004.
Anthony Shepherd, AASDL Attorney (713-777-2525)
Theresa Moreham, Secretary for AASDL (713-523-2235)
Although texting and driving is generally not against the law in Texas (except for youthful drivers and in school zones), law enforcement will be conducting traffic stops for texting and driving in the Houston area beginning soon.
A press conference is scheduled Wednesday to discuss the dangers of texting and driving and how law enforcement will be stopping drivers for this dangerous habit.
Ending two years of speculation and coy denials, Hillary Rodham Clintonannounced on Sunday that she would seek the presidency for a second time, immediately establishing herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee.
“I’m running for president,” she said with a smile near the end of a two-minute videoreleased just after 3 p.m.
“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion,” Mrs. Clinton said. “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote — because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”
The announcement came minutes after emails from John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, alerting donors and longtime Clinton associates to her candidacy.
Oscar winning rapper and actor Common performed Saturday in Houston.
It was part of the Tanqueray Trunk Show which hit 6 cities around the country.
The focus was on fashion, liquor, and entertainment.
The event attracted many notables such as Bun B, Willie D, Chester Pitts, Tamara Washington, and many more.
The Houston Education Support Personnel Union is excited to announce a new program at HISD called Reading and Riding. With this program, school bus attendants will read to students on the way to and from school.
Bus drivers and attendants play a critical role in a child’s school day. With Reading and Riding, they can play a role in a child’s literacy, vocabulary development, and overall success. HESP represents HISD blue collar workers which include: bus drivers and bus attendants. This program is designed to more fully incorporate the support personnel that work with special need students day to day outside of the classroom into the child’s holistic education.
Board member Paula Harris called the new literacy program “awesome and powerful,” and said, “I’m happy to see HESP and the administration working together to make Houston ISD one of the first school districts to have a reading program like this one.”
This Monday April 13th, 2015 will be the official kickoff of Reading and Riding. Taking place at Barnett Bus Barn, at 5:15am located at 6700 Fairway Dr, Houston, TX 77087. Attendees will include HESP Union President Wretha Thomas, HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Juliet Stipeche, Manuel Rodriguez, Michael Lunceford, School Administrations, and Transportation.