ICE removes two violent fugitives from St. Paul

Agents removed Raul Antonio Lovo of El Salvador on May 20 and Eddie Yenner Murphy Karpoleh of Liberia on June 1, the agency recently announced.

Raul Antonio Lovo, left, and Eddie Yenner Murphy Karpoleh were both recently flown from St. Paul back to their home countries. (ICE)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported from the city of St. Paul two foreign nationals suspected of violent crimes.

Agents removed Raul Antonio Lovo of El Salvador on May 20 and Eddie Yenner Murphy Karpoleh of Liberia on June 1, the agency recently announced. They were both deported to their home countries, where their respective authorities promptly took them into custody on various charges.

Lovo, a member of a large North and Central American gang called “18th Street,” has been wanted in El Salvador on “two charges of affiliation with a terrorist organization” and allegations of extortion and rape of a minor individual, according to an ICE press release.

“Lovo illegally entered the U.S. without inspection on an unknown date and at unknown location. ICE ERO arrested Lovo during a targeted enforcement operation on May 4, pursuant to an outstanding warrant of removal and multiple Salvadoran warrants,” the press release says.

Although founded in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the 18th Street gang has thousands of members across multiple nations. Many of them are ethnic or national Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans. The gang is engaged in human, drug, and arms trafficking, extortion, theft, and murder. 18th Street is considered one of the most violent gangs in the United States.

The other captured fugitive in St. Paul, Eddie Yenner Murphy Karpoleh, had previously fought with the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the rebel militia led by eventual president of Liberia Charles Taylor throughout the first phase of the Liberian Civil War in the 1990s.

After Taylor’s militia overthrew the Liberian government and Taylor became president, Karpoleh became a member of the Liberian National Police Special Operations Division. That division was notorious for its harsh treatment of villagers in some of Liberia’s most remote areas.

“As a leader in these armed groups, Karpoleh was implicated in incidents of murder and sexual assault during Liberia’s two civil wars,” according to ICE.

Karpoleh legally entered the United States in 2008 to testify in the criminal trial of Roy Belfast Jr., the son of former Liberian president Taylor, but after “[absconding] without testifying,” ICE declared him a fugitive.

For seven-and-a-half years, Karpoleh remained in the United States on an order of supervision, but ICE revoked it this March and arrested him the following month.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.