LONGMONT, Colo. - Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and officers from Longmont Police Department on Wednesday arrested a man wanted in Mexico for a 2009 murder.
Ricardo Padilla-Chavez, 25, from Mexico, was suspected of illegally re-entering the United States after he had been deported in January 2007 as a convicted aggravated felon. Padilla-Chavez was convicted of felony burglary in Jefferson County, Colo., in August 2001 and sentenced to serve 16 years in prison. He was paroled after serving only five years.
"This significant arrest demonstrates law enforcement cooperation and partnership at their best," said Kumar Kibble, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Denver. "ICE prioritizes our resources to specifically target criminal aliens like Padilla-Chavez who pose the greatest threat to public safety."
"We are pleased that we were able to take advantage of our strong relationships with the attorneys general in Mexico to bring this suspect to justice," Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said. "My office is dedicated to working with the Mexican authorities to fight crime on both sides of the border."
ICE agents received the lead from the Colorado State Attorney General's Office on May 1 that Padilla-Chavez may be in the Longmont area living with his parents. The Colorado AG's Office received that information from Mexico's Attorney General's Office in Chihuahua, Mexico. Padilla-Chavez is wanted in Mexico for murdering a man in Chihuahua. Sergio Torres-Morales was reportedly murdered in April 2009 in a gang-style killing.
ICE agents had the Longmont, Colo., residence under surveillance when Padilla-Chavez exited. ICE agents contacted Longmont PD which conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle Padilla-Chavez was a passenger in. He was arrested without incident, and his identity was confirmed through law enforcement database fingerprints, and by Padilla-Chavez himself.
Padilla-Chavez was charged with re-entering the United States after being deported. As an aggravated felon, he could face up to 20 years, if convicted. However, ICE is reinstating his original deportation orders, and is currently working with the attorney general's office in Chihuahua, Mexico, to return him to Mexican authorities to face murder charges.