Report: Colombian murderer, an illegal immigrant, arrested six months after being released into the US

BOSTON, MA - An illegal immigrant and convicted murderer from Colombia identified as Efrain Vidales Vargas, 49, was arrested in Pittsfield, MA on May 6th by the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston where he is currently being held. Vargas was previously detained in 2023 after illegally entering the U.S. near San Luis, AZ but was released on his own recognizance with a notice to appear before a Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration judge.

ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd Lyons said in an ICE press release, "This Colombian national is wanted in his home country for some very serious crimes." He added, "He attempted to hide out in Massachusetts, and now he will have to answer for his actions." Neither a press release from ICE nor Lyons referred to Vargas by name, his identity was reportedly confirmed by Ali Bradley of News Nation citing DHS Sources.

According to ICE, the Colombian national was arrested in his home country in April 2014 where he was convicted on charges of aggravated homicide, aggravated theft, and possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2016, but after just seven years he was apprehended entering the U.S. on the Arizona-Mexico border in November 2023 "without being inspected, admitted or paroled by a U. S. immigration official."

Bradley reported. "ICE was aware of Vargas’ murder conviction in Colombia and still released him due to “national bed space shortage caused by southwest border surge…” In a statement ICE confirms Vargas was “erroneously” released from custody."

In the statement shared by Bradley ICE wrote, "Efrain Vidales Vargas, an unlawfully present Colombian national who is wanted by Colombian authorities for a Homicide conviction, unlawfully entered the U.S. in November 2023 was erroneously released from ICE custody."

The News Nation correspondent explained that on December 11th, 2023 according to DHS sources, an ICE officer took note that Vargas had a past murder conviction in Colombia in addition to a lengthy criminal record going back to his childhood. Forty-eight hours later, with DHS citing a lack of bed space, Vargas was released onto American streets. He was arrested after being flagged by an ICE liaison in Colombia for an Interpol notice, having spent six months moving about freely in the United States.

Vargas will be held in Boston in ERO custody pending the outcome of deportation proceedings according to ICE.
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