SAN DIEGO — A Mexican national captured in Chula Vista, who is charged in his native country with child rape and aggravated child sexual abuse, was turned over to Mexican law enforcement personnel late Thursday at a San Diego-area border crossing by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Jose Raul Ramirez Grande, aka Pecos, 35, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office in Tijuana. An arrest warrant issued in 2006 by authorities in Tijuana's judicial district accuses Ramirez of rape and aggravated sexual abuse against a minor involving three victims. According to the warrant, Ramirez sexually abused three relatives – ages 5, 6 and 8 – whom he also forced to engage in sexual acts with each other.
According to authorities in Tijuana, in December 2005 the victims' father contacted police after returning home and witnessing Ramirez sexually assaulting his 6-year-old daughter. Ramirez escaped before municipal police could reach the scene.
Earlier this month, representatives of the Tijuana Police Department contacted ERO San Diego with information about Ramirez's possible whereabouts in the San Diego area. Working in conjunction with the San Diego Sheriff's Office, the suspect was located and taken into custody by ERO Thursday morning. Following his capture, Ramirez told ERO officers he most recently entered the U.S. illegally in November 2007. Ramirez was processed as a voluntary return, paving the way for his repatriation hours later.
"Sexual predators who seek to escape responsibility for their egregious actions by fleeing to the U.S. will find no haven in our communities" said Gregory J. Archambeault, field office director for ERO San Diego. "As this case makes clear, ERO works closely with its international partners to promote public safety. We are committed to holding criminals accountable for their actions, regardless where they commit their crimes."
Thursday's removal demonstrates the expanded bilateral cooperation to identify, arrest and repatriate Mexican fugitives who have fled to the United States to avoid prosecution. ICE is working closely with the Mexican government as part of this effort. Many of the arrests involve violent crimes.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 721 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.