LOS ANGELES — A Mexican national wanted for allegedly fatally shooting an off-duty police officer in his native country was turned over Tuesday to Mexican authorities at a San Diego-area border crossing by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Flavio Camacho Hernandez, 39, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office at the San Ysidro port of entry. Camacho is charged with first degree murder in an arrest warrant issued in July 2004 in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
That warrant states that, on June 13, 2004, Camacho and two accomplices gunned down an off-duty police officer in the city of Guasave. The men allegedly went to the victim's home to confront him for defending another man in a fight earlier that day. According to witnesses, the victim, Eleazar Castro-Lugo, told the assailants he was an off-duty police officer and did not want any trouble. Witnesses say the men ignored Castro's pleas and shot him four times at close range. Castro died at the scene.
Three months ago, officers with the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Task Force contacted ERO after receiving information that the accused cop killer might be living in the Los Angeles area. After tracking the murder suspect to a residence in South Los Angeles, ERO officers and U.S. Marshals arrested Camacho outside his home June 4 on administrative immigration violations. Camacho was placed in removal proceedings and an immigration judge subsequently held he had no legal basis to remain in the U.S., paving the way for Tuesday's repatriation.
"The return of this fugitive murder suspect to Mexico to face justice is the direct result of the ongoing cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and our counterparts south of the border," said David Jennings, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. "Violent criminals who believe they can evade the law by fleeing to the U.S. should be on notice they will find no refuge here."
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.