Milessa Cortez-Granados, 32, a female MS-13 gang member wanted to face charges in El Salvador was arrested under Operation Matador in March, pursuant to an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, and was removed on Nov. 16 to El Salvador by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Cortez-Granados, an active MS-13 gang member, initially entered the United States at an unknown place, and time.
On Nov. 2, 2009, she was convicted in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, of illegally entering the U.S. and sentenced to time served, following which she was removed on the same date by ICE.
(Learn More. ICE ERO enforces the nation’s immigration laws in a fair and effective manner, identifying and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the U.S., prioritizing the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Courtesy of ICE .gov and YouTube.)
Sometime after, Cortez-Granados illegally re-entered the United States.
Jan. 12, 2013, Cortez-Granados, along with other associates, threatened police officers patrolling in the local area with firearms, according to Salvadoran law enforcement authorities.
Additionally, she was identified as the individual that provided information on the presence of law enforcement in the area which resulted in several police officers being injured.
In November 2016, Salvadoran law enforcement authorities in San Miguel, El Salvador, issued an Interpol Red Notice for her arrest, charging Cortez-Granados with attempted aggravated murder, attempted aggravated damages, and terrorist organizations.
On March 15, 2018, Cortez-Granados was arrested in Hempstead, New York, by HSI Long Island’s Violent Gang Unit, under the auspices of Operation Matador, and detained in ERO custody.
(ICE Operation Matador nets 24 transnational gang members. Courtesy of ICE .gov, Samuel Ezerzer and YouTube. Posted on April 4, 2018.)
On Oct. 26, 2018, Cortez-Granados was ordered removed by an immigration judge in New York City, paving the way for her removal to El Salvador.
She was removed from the United States via an ICE Air Operations Charter flight and transferred into the custody of Salvadoran law enforcement authorities.
Operation Matador, operating under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transnational Organized Crime Initiative (DHS TOCI), was launched by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York along with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
This joint initiative is comprised of the following law enforcement agencies:
- ICE HSI special agents
- ICE ERO deportation officers
- The ICE Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- New York state and local law enforcement partners to include:
- The Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD)
- The Nassau County Police Department (NCPD)
- The Hempstead Police Department (HVPD)
The DHS TOCI is responsible for identifying, interdicting and investigating a wide variety of transnational border crime with a concentration on MS-13 gang activity.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.
In fiscal year 2017, ICE conducted 226,119 removals nationwide. Eighty-three percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Honored with 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award
‘Excellence in Homeland Security’
(Learn About ICE HSI Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU) which conducts investigations focused on human rights violations in an effort to prevent the United States from becoming a safe haven to those individuals who engage in the commission of war crimes, genocide, torture and other forms of serious human rights abuses from conflicts around the globe. Courtesy of ICE .gov and YouTube.)
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