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Enforcement and Removal
02/05/2009

Accused murderer of a Mexican police officer and his wife is deported

Gustavo Guerrero-Cereceres
Gustavo Guerrero-Cereceres

DENVER - A man who was wanted for allegedly committing an execution-style killing of a Mexican police officer and his wife in June was deported Wednesday. This case was investigated - and the deportation was carried out - by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Gustavo Guerrero-Cereceres, 36, was arrested by ICE agents at Adams County Courthouse Jan. 23. The U.S. Marshals Service had informed ICE about Guerrero-Cereceres' arrest warrant by the Mexican government.

Guerrero-Cereceres and his accomplice, Virilio Palma, are accused of killing Israel Barriga-Rodriguez, a Mexican police officer, and his wife at their home June 14, 2008. After the murders, both men then fled into hiding. Palma was later arrested in Los Mochis, Mexico, for the murders. Guerrero-Cereceres had been living in an apartment in Commerce City, Colo. Authorities suspect that the murders were ordered by the Sinaloa Drug Cartel.

Guerrero-Cereceres was deported into the custody of Mexican authorities at the El Paso, Texas, Port-of-Entry to face murder charges.

Guerrero-Cereceres has a criminal arrest record dating to 1995 which include arrests for: drunken driving, vehicle theft, selling drugs and assault. He also was previously deported from the United States in August 1997. Re-entering the United States after having been officially deported is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

"It's vital that we ensure criminal aliens do not use the United States as a safe haven from justice after they commit crimes in their home countries or elsewhere," said Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations. "ICE routinely works with local, national and international law enforcement agencies to perform our common goal - combating crime." Copp oversees a four-state area which includes: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

U.S. Marshals Service assisted ICE with this investigation.