MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Saint Paul removed an unlawfully present foreign fugitive and former member of both the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and the Liberian National Police Special Operations Division (LNPSOD) from the United States, June 1, 2022.
Eddie Yenner Murphy Karpoleh was flown from Saint Paul to Liberia on a flight coordinated by ICE’s Air Operations Unit. Upon arrival, the fugitive was turned over to Liberian officials.
On Oct. 14, 2008, Karpoleh legally entered the U.S. to appear as a defense witness in the criminal trial of Roy Belfast Jr., aka “Chuckie” Taylor, the first U.S. criminal torture prosecution. Karpoleh absconded without testifying and was designated an ICE fugitive.
An investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia, with assistance from the ICE’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor and Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC), revealed that Karpoleh had been a former fighter in the NPFL, which was infamous for forcing children to kill and torture. Karpoleh was later a commander in LNPSOD, a unit known as “Sons of the Devil” for its brutality to local villagers. As a leader in these armed groups, Karpoleh was implicated in incidents of murder and sexual assault during Liberia’s two civil wars.
On Aug. 19, 2013, an immigration judge ordered Karpoleh removed. Between Nov. 24, 2014, and March 23, 2022, Karpoleh remained on an order of supervision while complying with reporting instructions, pending additional immigration applications.
On March 23, 2022, ERO St. Paul revoked Karpoleh’s order of supervision and on April 19, 2022, ERO Des Moines officers arrested Karpoleh during a targeted enforcement operation.
The HRVWCC is the only government entity focused completely on investigating global atrocities and the perpetrators of human rights violations and war crimes. Initiated by HSI in 2008, the HRVWCC leverages the knowledge and expertise of a select group of special agents, attorneys, intelligence analysts, criminal research specialists and historians who are charged with preventing the United States from becoming a safe haven for individuals who engage in the commission of war crimes, genocide, torture and other forms of serious human rights abuses from conflicts around the globe.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives or foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-DHS-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 480 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed more than 1,085 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 181 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, HSI has more than 160 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,700 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 78,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 350 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the United States.
Undocumented migrants processed for removal may receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.
Regardless of nationality, ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and DHS policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities and guidelines. ICE focuses its civil immigration enforcement priorities on the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security.