One of El Salvador’s most wanted fugitives arrested in Shelby County

Fugitive wanted in El Salvador arrested in Chelsea
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 1:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A fugitive on El Salvador’s Top 100 Most Wanted list was apprehended in Chelsea on Friday, August 11.

Officials with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement say 29-year-old Juan Carlos Portillo was wanted for a long list of offenses, including aggravated homicide, aggravated kidnapping, and terrorist organization. Investigators say he was part of the “MS-13 gang.”

ICE officials say Portillo entered the country illegally. In July, ICE says they received a tip Portillo may be living in Columbiana.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by federal investigators and was asked to assist in the apprehension.

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego shared, “This is another great example of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies partnering together as a force multiplier to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe. I’m always proud of our men and women at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and I’m grateful to our federal partners for working tirelessly to help bring this individual to justice.”

Portillo is now awaiting extradition to El Salvador.

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