An MS-13 gang suspect listed on El Salvador’s most wanted list was arrested in Virginia despite being deported from the United States twice. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced last week that removal officers arrested Herberth Bonilla-Garcia, 40, during a raid in Manassas, Virginia, on Dec. 1. 

Bonilla-Garcia entered the United States at least twice without being detected and was removed in 2006 and again in 2012, officials said.

“Herberth Bonilla-Garcia has a history of unlawfully entering the U.S. and this time he apparently did so to escape justice in his home country,” Assistant Removal Operations Field Office Director Erik Weiss said. “The United States is not a safe haven for the world’s criminals.”

El Salvador has issued warrants for Bonilla-Garcia for illicit association and aggravated exportation, officials said. 

He is still listed on El Salvador’s Crime Stoppers website, where he has been wanted since at least 2020. The Central American officials said he is a member of the international criminal gang MS-13.

Bonilla-Garcia is currently in U.S. custody until he is deported to El Salvador.

It is common for migrants to attempt to cross the border multiple times, as 2021 data shows more than a quarter of arrests at the border were of migrants with a history of attempting to cross. 

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