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Enforcement and Removal
01/21/2008

ICE removes man wanted for murder in Costa Rica

Man has been returned to Costa Rican authorities to face justice

NEWARK, N.J. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have removed Carlos Alberto Fernandez-Mena, a Costa Rican citizen who is wanted for murder in his home country. A court in Cartago, Costa Rica issued an international arrest warrant for him in October of last year. Fernandez-Mena is a former Costa Rican police officer. He was escorted to Costa Rica by officers from the Newark Office of Detention and Removal Operations on Saturday afternoon.

Members of the ICE Newark Fugitive Operations Team arrested Fernandez-Mena on January 16, without incident as he left his residence in Newark. The arrest was possible due to information provided to ICE by INTERPOL. The ICE office of detention and removal in Newark conducted an investigation and surveillance. As the result of the surveillance, officers found that Fernandez-Mena was living on Bloomfield Avenue in Newark and had been working as a mechanic at various garages.

According to information provided by Costa Rican authorities Fernandez-Mena killed an individual while serving as a police officer. INTERPOL provided ICE with information that Fernandez-Mena fled Costa Rica to avoid prosecution and was believed to be living in the Newark area.

Fernandez-Mena entered the United States in February of 2004, as a visitor for pleasure and overstayed his right to remain in the country. Following his arrest he was served with a notice to appear in immigration court and ordered held without bond. Fernandez-Mena stipulated to an order of removal and the Newark ICE office worked with Costa Rican authorities and INTERPOL to coordinate removing Fernandez-Mena back to his home country to face the murder charges.

"The case is yet another example of the close cooperation between foreign authorities, INTERPOL and ICE in order to locate and apprehend a dangerous individual attempting to dodge justice," said Scott Weber, field office director for the ICE office of detention and removal in Newark. "Operations such as this not only make New Jersey communities safer, but put fugitives on notice that the United States is not a safe haven for international criminals seeking to avoid the law in their home country."