ICE agents arrest 2 inside Suffolk County courthouses

A California woman who pleaded guilty to helping dispose of her 3-year-old granddaughter's body has been sentenced to 180 days in jail. Photo Credit: Qimono/Pixabay

BOSTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took two undocumented immigrants into custody in Suffolk County courts on Monday, the agency said.

Elmer Hernandez-Montes, a citizen of El Salvador, was taken into ICE custody at Chelsea District Court. Hernandez-Montes illegally re-entered the United States after being removed three different times. He has been given a "final order" of removal from the country.

He was arrested by Chelsea Police for drinking alcohol in public, and has a past record of eight arraignments for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering and trespassing.

ICE officials add Hernandez-Montes is a member of the 18th Street gang, going by the street name of "Gato," or cat, in Spanish.

According to an ICE spokesperson, John Mohan, ICE will seek Hernandez-Montes' removal "following the resolution of local criminal charges against him."

Jose Hernandez Rodriguez, also a Salvadoran citizen, was arrested by ICE officials on Monday in East Boston District Court. A member of the MS-13 gang, Rodriguez was arrested by Boston Police for unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.

"Rodriguez has been placed into immigration proceedings, ICE will seek his removal pending the outcome of the local criminal charges against him," Mohan said.

Both arrests come on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Suffolk DA Rachel Rollins and Middlesex DA Marian Ryan, among other officials, aimed at preventing ICE agents from arresting people inside courthouses on civil immigration matters.

"When we cannot hold anyone accountable for their actions - let me be clear - that is not justice and not one person in this commonwealth is safer because of that practice," Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan told reporters.