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Enforcement and Removal

ICE deports Mexican suspect wanted for murder

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A fugitive alien wanted on aggravated murder charges in Mexico was deported Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Luis Fernando Ortega-Vera, 38, was escorted through the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas, where he was turned over to the custody of the Mexican Attorney General's Office to face these charges.

"ICE works closely with our local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and deport aliens who are wanted in their home countries for committing heinous crimes," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director of the ICE ERO in San Antonio. "We will not allow fugitive criminal aliens to use the United States as a safe haven from their crimes." Pitts oversees 54 counties in south and central Texas.

The Superior Court of Justice in Mexico City issued an arrest warrant in 2009 for Ortega-Vera for causing the death of Jose Justino Ortega-Roldan, the passenger who rode in his vehicle.

Ortega-Vera had been returned to Mexico in May 2010 after he completed his 22-day sentence for assaulting a family member causing bodily. He was again arrested by local police and charged with aggravated assault after he illegally re-entered the United States in June 2010. The Hidalgo County Court at Law # 4 sentenced him to 18 months probation on March 8, 2011. Ten days later the Hidalgo County Jail released him to ICE ERO.

A federal immigration judge subsequently ordered Ortega-Vera's deportation on May 23. According to the court document, Ortega-Vera waived his appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

This deportation is part of a bi-national agreement between ICE and Mexico's attorney general's office. ICE has deported many other fugitives wanted for murder, and other crimes such as alien smuggling, kidnapping and rape.

Between Oct. 1, 2010 and April 30, ICE returned to their countries of origin more than 215,900 aliens, including 109,700 aliens with criminal convictions. Of those, 585 were convicted of homicide, 3,177 were convicted sex offenders, and 24,593 were convicted of serious drug offenses.