ICE Captures Murderer Fugitive in New Jersey

( – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have captured an escaped murderer. Miguel Angel Hernandez Moreno was out of prison on a 72-hour furlough in 2017 when he escaped from custody and eventually entered the US illegally. Federal authorities say it is unclear exactly when he came to America but admitted he had previously been deported.

When he escaped, Hernandez Moreno was six years into a 22-year sentence for murder, and after entering the US, he hid out successfully in New Jersey until December last year when officials said he began making terrorist threats. He was charged but not detained and went on the run to New York City, where police recaptured him in Queens.

ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) director Camilla Wamsley said, “Time and again, we see fugitives fleeing from justice in their home countries and illegally crossing into the US.”

Merona will be deported as the porous southern border sees unprecedented crossings and migrant crime hits American headlines. Just days before Merona’s capture, Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, was charged with murdering a 22-year-old nursing student in Georgia. Laken Riley died from blunt force trauma to the head, and her body was found on her morning running route.

Police described Riley’s murder as a “crime of opportunity” committed by the suspect acting alone. Initial press reports say Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials encountered Ibarra at the border in 2022 and released him “for further processing.”

Federal government statistics show an alarming rise in illegal immigrant crime in the US since 2017. In the fiscal year 2017, law enforcement agencies arrested 8,531 “criminal noncitizens,” but by 2023, this figure had grown to 15,267.

Statistics furthermore show that drug offenses are the most common, followed by driving under the influence in second place and assault, battery, and domestic violence in third. Last year, there were 864 theft and larceny cases, 307 illegal weapons offenses, and 29 recorded instances of homicide or manslaughter.

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