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07/01/2010

Charlotte ICE officers nab murder suspect who had been on the run for 10 years

Man allegedly shot 3 Houston residents in 2000, killing 1 and injuring 2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Mexican national who had been on the run for more than a decade after allegedly shooting three Houston residents in 2000, killing one and injuring two, was nabbed June 29th by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers and law enforcement officials from the Asheboro Police Department and the Randolph County Sheriff's Office.

Fidel Mora Yanez, 37, was living and working in the Asheboro, N.C., area under the alias Bernardo Castanon Villanueva. He was encountered after ICE ERO officers launched an investigation into a law enforcement tip that a murder suspect was living and hiding in North Carolina.

"Those who think that they can escape the reach of the law are sorely mistaken," said Felicia Skinner, ERO Atlanta field office director. "Whether it takes 10 days, or 10 years, law enforcement will catch up with those who are committing heinous crimes."

Houston Police Assistant Chief Michael A. Dirden said, "We are grateful for the assistance we received from ICE on the arrest of this suspect. Their effort is indicative of the outstanding cooperation local law enforcement receives from our federal partners on a daily basis."

In addition to the criminal charges for murder and aggravated assault, Yanez will face administrative charges for being in the country illegally. He is currently in the custody of the Mecklenburg Sheriff's Office awaiting extradition to Houston.