MIAMI - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested a 41-year-old Colombian national wanted by the Colombian government for a 1994 double homicide. His initial court appearance was yesterday in the Southern District of Florida on federal charges of making false statements to a federal agent and he is pending extradition to Colombia.
"Apprehending dangerous foreign fugitives hiding in the United States is a top priority of ICE and our international and local law enforcement partners, including the Miami Dade Police Department and Interpol," said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami. "It is in the interest of public safety and justice around the world to capture and return wanted fugitives to their native countries to face justice."
The fugitive was identified as Raul Sanabria Castaneda, aka Ramon Diaz, formerly residing in Pembroke Pines, Fla. ICE special agents arrested Castaneda without incident on Friday, January 23, 2009, on immigration violation charges at the Miami Dade courthouse after he appeared in court for his arraignment on state misdemeanor charges for two counts of battery and one count of disorderly intoxication under the alias of Ramon Diaz. On December 26, 2008, Sanabria-Castaneda was arrested by officers of the Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD) on the local charges. The MDPD's Homeland Security Bureau contacted ICE because the defendant's immigration status was questionable and information they had obtained from Interpol. ICE special agents conducted an investigation and discovered that the defendant was in the United States illegally. A fingerprint analysis of the defendant returned positive results for an Interpol Red Notice for an international fugitive, Raul Sanabria Castaneda.
ICE special agents interviewed Castaneda, who claimed he was Ramon Diaz, a citizen of Venezuela, having legally entered the United States approximately 10 years ago through John F. Kennedy International Airport. Further investigation revealed that Sanabria Castaneda entered the United States without inspection. He was charged federally with making false statements to a federal officer and appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White, who ordered him held without bond and set his arraignment date on February 9, 2009.
ICE Office of Investigations worked in close coordination with Interpol, the ICE Attaché in Colombia, and the Miami Dade Police Department to identify, locate, and apprehend this individual.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Lorraine Tashman.