Human smuggler arrested by ERO Boston convicted of illegal reentry

BOSTON — A Mexican national convicted of soliciting human smuggling who was arrested by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston was convicted in federal court Oct. 19 of unlawfully reentering the United States after deportation. The Mexican citizen had previously been returned to Mexico on eight separate occasions.

Deportation officers from ERO Boston apprehended Pedro Romo-Gonzalez, 42, an unlawfully present Mexican citizen, on June 14 after local authorities arrested him in Westford for possession and intent to distribute drugs. ERO Boston lodged an immigration detainer for Romo-Gonzalez with the Ayer District Court at that time. He was later indicted by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts and has pleaded guilty in federal court to unlawfully reentering the United States after deportation.

Romo-Gonzalez has a previous conviction for soliciting human smuggling in the Maricopa County Supreme Court in Phoenix, Arizona, for which he was sentenced to six months of imprisonment in December 2009.

His current charges remain pending, and he is scheduled for sentencing in December in federal court in Boston. ERO Boston has reinstated the final order of removal for Romo-Gonzalez issued by a Department of Justice immigration judge and will seek to remove him.

“ERO Boston is committed to the fight against human smuggling. We will not stop apprehending those who engage in these crimes in the New England region,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd Lyons. “This individual would not have been brought to justice were it not for the outstanding work of ERO Boston officers. Together with the support of our great partners, the dedicated prosecutors with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, this repeat offender will no longer be allowed to violate our immigration system and our laws. Because of that strong teamwork, this criminal fugitive has been stopped from continuing his long, destructive criminal history, and the residents of our communities are more secure and safe today.”

Romo-Gonzalez unlawfully entered the United States in April 1998, near San Ysidro, California. On at least eight separate occasions between April 1998 and July 2010, Romo-Gonzalez was removed from the United States or voluntarily returned to Mexico. He was removed by U.S. Border Patrol twice — once in January 2010 and again in June 2010 — voluntarily returning on six other occasions. After each removal, he illegally reentered the United States without obtaining lawful permission.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from DHS and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

As one of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ERO Boston’s mission to preserve public safety on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROBoston.


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