ICE unaware Bridgeport murder suspect was back in Conn.

Oscar Hernandez-Carranza (Courtesy: WTAJ)


(WTNH) — Oscar Hernandez apparently snuck back in to the country at some point after his deportation in 2013. Answers to how he got back in the United States and did any authorities know he returned were not so easy to come by on Monday.

It was stunning video of Hernandez, face-down in handcuffs on the side of a Pennsylvania interstate, his daughter whisked away by Pennsylvania State Police. Hernandez is back in custody years after he was deported to El Salvador.

“I believe there are agents in Hartford who would’ve been happy to go get him,” said Justin Fappiano, a New Haven immigration attorney.

Hernandez was convicted of misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor threatening and misdemeanor reckless endangerment charges out of Stamford in 2011. Fappiano said those convictions most likely led to his deportation.

“ICE and USCIS do distinguish between misdemeanor and serious misdemeanor,” Fappiano said. “And the nature of those charges put it in the realm of domestic violence.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement here in Hartford say they had no idea Hernandez was back in the country.

A spokesman told News 8 in part:

“ICE would have no way of knowing when someone illegally re-entered, because that’s the point – they are avoiding detection by law enforcement.”

Bridgeport Police said Hernandez is responsible for the stabbing death of Nidia Gonzalez early Friday morning. They said he also critically wounded her friend, before he fled with the daughter he shared with Gonzalez. An Amber Alert was put in place, and Hernandez was caught hours later outside Altoona, Penn.

Hernandez also had a protective order in place against him, stemming from the Stamford charges with a different woman. Those familiar with the Federal Immigration system said the system is a mess, in need of repair.

“We have one court for every Connecticut zip code and we basically have two judges for every removal proceeding docketed with Hartford immigration court,” Fappiano said.

Hernandez remains in custody in Pennsylvania. Bridgeport Police have a murder warrant waiting on him, when he is eventually extradited back to Connecticut.