A man claiming to be affiliated with MS-13 was arrested Tuesday in Huntington, New York by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Authorities deported him from the U.S previously, following a conviction for manslaughter in 2002.
William Umberto Martinez Chavez, 40, was deported in October 2017 after serving time in state prison for committing a fatal stabbing outside of a Huntington deli in May 2000. He was arrested for a second time, Tuesday, by agents from ICE who charged him with illegal reentry, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison, according to Fox News.
Chavez has several tattoos on his chest and stomach signaling membership to the MS-13 gang. He admitted to law enforcement that he has previously been associated with MS-13, though claims that he is not presently a gang member. Newsday reports that Chavez claimed he only associated with MS-13 to obtain protection from the gang while in prison.
Chavez is originally from El Salvador but was carrying a Mexican drivers license at the time of his arrest, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. Authorities were able to match his fingerprints during the Tuesday arrest with those taken from his first arrest in 2002.
“As alleged, Martinez Chavez illegally returned to the United States after he served a lengthy New York State prison sentence for a homicide he committed on Long Island and was deported to El Salvador,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue stated while announcing Chavez’s arrest. “This Office is firmly committed to prosecuting criminals who illegally reenter the United States, especially MS-13 gang members who break into the country after deportations resulting from violent crime convictions.”
“Martinez Chavez is a known MS-13 gang member who was convicted of manslaughter, served his time and was removed from the United States, only to resurface on the same streets after having entered illegally,” Enforcement and Removal (ERO) New York Field Office Director Thomas Decker said in the announcement,
“It is the job of the brave men and women of ICE to take those who break the laws of this country off the streets and see that they are removed back to their home countries,” said Decker.