MIAMI - A 30-year-old man wanted by the Spanish government for murder and drug trafficking was deported last night to Spain by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers.
Sergio Lopez-Martinez, a Spanish national, was removed without incident and turned over to Spanish INTERPOL agents who were waiting for him at the Madrid Barajas Airport in Spain.
Lopez-Martinez was allegedly involved in a shooting on Nov. 9, 2006 at Orrius and La Roca del Valles in Barcelona, Spain. He is alleged to have acted in concert in the fatal shooting of Jose Fort Caballe. On May 14, 2007, the judicial district of Barcelona issued an arrest warrant for Lopez-Martinez for the offenses of murder and drug trafficking.
"Apprehending dangerous foreign fugitives hiding in the United States is a top priority of ICE and our international law enforcement partners, including European Union authorities and INTERPOL," said Michael Rozos, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Florida. "It is in the interest of public safety and justice around the world to capture and return wanted fugitives to their native countries to face justice."
ICE received information from the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL that Lopez-Martinez might be living in Miami. ICE deportation officers, working closely the U.S. and Spanish INTERPOL offices and the Miami Beach Police Department, subsequently launched an intensive investigation to locate the suspect.
Further investigation revealed that Lopez-Martinez had entered the United States on Feb. 17, 2007 under the Visa Waiver Program with authorization to remain in the country for a period of time not to exceed May 16, 2007. Lopez-Martinez remained in the United States beyond his period of admission in violation of law.
On July 3, 2008, he was arrested without incident by ICE fugitive operations deportation officers at his residence located at 7125 Bay Drive in Miami Beach. He was subsequently processed for removal under the provisions of Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and held in ICE custody pending his removal.