SAN DIEGO – A Mexican national captured earlier this month in Chula Vista, who is wanted in Mexico on child sexual exploitation charges involving the alleged abuse of a 12-year-old boy in Tijuana, was handed over Thursday to Mexican law enforcement officials by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Blas Alberto Lopez-Angulo, 46, of Tijuana, was transferred by San Diego-based officers on ERO’s Special Response Team to the custody of representatives from Mexico’s Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) and Mexican immigration officials at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Lopez-Angulo is accused of sexually abusing a child under 14 years of age in a Mexican arrest warrant issued in 2014.
According to Mexican authorities, Lopez befriended the boy while working at a convenience store near the child’s residence. The boy’s family filed a complaint with Mexican authorities in Tijuana after becoming suspicious of the sexual abuse. During the ensuing investigation, Lopez fled to the U.S. to avoid detection.
Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Lopez entered the U.S. in January 2015 through the San Ysidro Port of Entry on a visitor’s visa, which authorized him to remain in the country for no more than six months. Earlier this month, officers with San Diego ERO’s Fugitive Unit conducted surveillance at a Chula Vista residence where Lopez was believed to be residing. After positively identifying the fugitive, ERO officers arrested Lopez outside his apartment.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,789 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States.
ERO coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and others ordered deported. Last year alone, ERO removed 235,413 individuals from the United States. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety. ICE’s civil enforcement efforts are based on priorities set by the Secretary of Homeland Security in November 2014.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.