SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - A former agent for the Mexican judicial police, who is wanted in his native country on drug trafficking charges, was turned over to Mexican law enforcement officials at the border crossing here Wednesday morning following his capture in the Bay Area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
Fausto Perez-Rafael, 42, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers. According to Mexican authorities, Perez served as an agent for the former Mexican judicial police, the equivalent of this country's FBI, during the early 1990s. An arrest warrant issued in the Mexican state of Baja California in Feb. 2007 accuses the former federal officer of transporting cocaine. Mexican authorities allege that in Nov. 1995, while Perez was serving as a federal agent, he used a clandestine airfield near La Paz to transport 10 tons of cocaine.
Perez's repatriation follows his capture two months ago in the East Bay community of Pittsburgh, Calif. ICE developed information on Perez's possible whereabouts after being alerted by the Mexican Attorney General's Office about the outstanding arrest warrant. Perez was taken into custody Feb. 8 on administrative immigration violations by officers assigned to ERO's Fugitive Operations Teams. On April 1, an immigration judge found Perez did not have a legal basis to remain in the United States, paving the way for his repatriation to Mexico.
"Today's repatriation is another example of the outstanding cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to combat drug-related crime in that nation," said Timothy Aitken, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Francisco. "The Department of Homeland Security's goal in this case is not only to see justice served, but to protect law abiding citizens on both sides of the border."
Since April 2009, ICE ERO officers nationwide have coordinated the removal of more than 175 foreign nationals being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.