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ICE deports Mexican murder suspect captured last week in Bay Area

ICE deports Mexican murder suspect captured last week in Bay Area
ICE deports Mexican murder suspect captured last week in Bay Area

SAN DIEGO — A Mexican national murder suspect captured in Petaluma four days ago was turned over Tuesday to Mexican law enforcement personnel at the San Ysidro border crossing by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Mario Alberto Hernandez-Huerta, 32, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office. Hernandez-Huerta is wanted in his native country for a fatal shooting that occurred May 28, 2012, in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

According to the Mexican arrest warrant, Hernandez-Huerta allegedly shot the victim, Christian Trujillo Rodriguez, multiple times with a 9mm pistol after the victim threw a rock at the suspect's residence following a verbal altercation. Mexican authorities say several individuals who witnessed the predawn shooting identified Hernandez-Huerta as the killer.

Hernandez-Huerta's repatriation to Mexico follows his capture Dec. 27 at a residence in Petaluma by officers with ERO San Francisco's Fugitive Operations Team. The murder suspect was taken into custody without incident. The arrest occurred after ERO San Francisco was alerted by the Mexican Attorney General's Office about the outstanding murder warrant. ERO immediately initiated a follow-up investigation and developed information on the suspect's whereabouts.

"Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in our communities" said Erik Bonnar, deputy field office director for ERO San Francisco. "As this case makes clear, we are working closely with our foreign counterparts to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable –– no matter where they commit their crimes."

According to Department of Homeland Security databases, Hernandez-Huerta was previously deported from the U.S. in 2000 following his conviction in Oakland for assault with a firearm. ERO reinstated the murder suspect's prior removal order, paving the way for Tuesday's repatriation.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 566 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.