BALTIMORE – On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents in Baltimore and Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) officers and detectives arrested a Maryland man wanted for murder in Texas.
"The diligence of HSI special agents, police and prosecutors in pursuing this case over the years means that he will now be held accountable for this homicide," said Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter. "HSI will continue to work with our local and state law enforcement partners on investigations to locate, arrest and bring to justice foreign nationals that are a public safety or national security threat to our communities."
On April 16, Jesus Blas-Perea aka Severino Tapia Rosales, 53, of Riverdale, Md., was arrested by HSI Baltimore special agents and PGPD officers and detectives on a state felony arrest warrant issued by Harris County, Texas for first degree murder. The warrant was issued for the December 1981 murder of Jose Santos-Duque in Houston, Texas.
Blas-Perea is native and citizen of Mexico. He was previously deported twice for being in the country unlawfully and illegally re-entered the United States. HSI placed a detainer on him at the time of his arrest. Blas-Perea is currently in the custody of the Prince George's County Department of Corrections pending extradition to Harris County, Texas.
In October 2011, Operation "Found 'Em" was initiated by HSI Houston, to assist the Harris County, Texas, District Attorney's (DA) Office Fugitive and Cold Case Unit in the identification and apprehension of suspected criminal aliens, and foreign nationals with lawful status suspected of having committed murders in the Harris County area.
The DA's office has estimated that they have approximately 800 unsolved cold murder cases dating as far back as the 1970s and that more than 50 percent of the suspects are believed to be or were foreign nationals. The arrest of Jesus Blas-Perea is the ninth arrest under this initiative.