Convicted rapist on ICE’s Most Wanted list captured in California

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Special Response Team (SRT) arrested one of ICE’s Most Wanted fugitives during a targeted operation near South Gate, California, April 24. (Courtesy ICE)

Julio Garcia-Castellano, who is also known as Victor Garcia Ignacio, 33. (Courtesy ICE)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Agents arrested a convicted rapist and one of ICE’s most-wanted fugitives during a targeted operation Friday near South Gate, Calif.

Members of the Special Response Team for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 33-year-old Julio Garcia-Castellano, who is also known as Victor Garcia Ignacio, according to a news release issued Friday.

Garcia-Castellano, who is from Guatemala, was wanted for illegal re-entry of a previously removed felon. He has two previous removals — in 2007 and 2016.

Describing him as an aggravated felon, ICE said Garcia-Castellano illegally re-entered the United States at an unknown place and time before California Highway Patrol arrested him in December for allegedly driving under the influence, a charge that is still pending.

ICE agents obtained a federal arrest warrant for Garcia-Castellano in Los Angeles. After completion of ICE processing, he was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, where he remains pending federal felony prosecution, the release said.

“This case is an incredible example of our ongoing commitment to prioritize enforcement and removal efforts against any unlawfully present criminal aliens who pose the greatest threat to public safety,” ICE Los Angeles Field Office Director Dave Marin said in a statement. “Despite attempts by some to mislead, ICE does not conduct random or indiscriminate raids or sweeps and does not operate roadblocks or checkpoints. Our targeted immigration enforcement efforts ensure safer communities for our fellow citizens by removing dangerous criminals from our streets.”

On Feb. 1, 2010, Garcia-Castellano was convicted of second-degree rape by the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Lane County.

In Fiscal 2019, ICE removed or returned 267,000 undocumented immigrants, and ERO arrested 143,000, more than 86 percent of whom had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

According to ICE, the agency “is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members; as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, such as those who illegally reenter the country after a prior removal, and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.”

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