Matt M. Miller on May 22, 2019

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking the custody of two alleged MS-13 members in the April murder of a 14-year-old girl in Maryland, officials said.

ICE agents want custody of Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar, both from El Salvador.

Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar were arrested May 11, 2018, by the Prince George’s County Police Department for “attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery, and other related charges,” according to an ICE media release.

Following their arrest, ICE requested a detainer for the two with Prince George’s County Police, but “both were released on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE,” the release stated.

Police arrested Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar on murder charges for a 14-year-old girl, who reports claim was killed with a machete and baseball bat in a wooded area behind an apartment complex.

ICE issued a second request for custody of Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar, pending the results of their criminal trials.

Fuentes-Ponce arrived in the U.S. in December 2015 as part of a family unit in Texas, the release stated. An immigration judge ordered him to be removed from the U.S. in 2017, although he wasn’t present for his hearing and remained in the U.S. regardless, it said.

Escobar was discovered to be in the U.S. illegally in August 2016. He was put in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and later released to a relative in the DMV area.

Maj. Brian Reilly of the Prince George’s County Police Department confirmed Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar are connected to the MS-13 gang.

PGCDC was not immediately available for comment.

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