BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A gang member arrested in Houston earlier this month by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents and Houston Police Department officers was deported to Mexico Monday to face charges for the murder of two women.
Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, 19, a citizen of Mexico, was turned over to Mexican officials on the Brownsville International Bridge at approximately 1:00 p.m. Monday. Garcia-Hernandez, a member of the "Houstone" street gang in Houston, Texas, was arrested December 11 after ICE received word that Mexican authorities were seeking him.
According to Mexican authorities, Garcia-Hernandez is wanted for the murder of two women in Mexico. The homicides were allegedly committed during a robbery in March. Three other individuals involved in the deaths are already serving prison sentences in Mexico.
"ICE will continue to cooperate with Mexican authorities to capture and return dangerous fugitives who flee to the United States to escape justice," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director for ICE San Antonio Detention and Removal Operations. "Our goal is not only to see justice served, but to protect communities on both sides of the border from violence."
Garcia-Hernandez has previous convictions in Houston for possessing marijuana, escaping from law enforcement custody, and driving with a counterfeit driver's license. ICE previously deported him in November of 2007.
The number of illegal aliens repatriated by ICE jumped 20 percent in the latest fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. During fiscal year 2008, ICE removed or returned a total of 349,041 illegal aliens to their native countries, compared to 288,663 in fiscal year 2007. Notably, one-third of the aliens removed last year had prior criminal convictions in addition to being in the country illegally.