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Enforcement and Removal

ICE deports Mexican murder suspect captured in Santa Cruz area

Alvaro Hernandez-Fuentes
Alvaro Hernandez-Fuentes

SAN DIEGO — A Mexican national, murder suspect captured in northern California last month was turned over to Mexican law enforcement personnel Friday at the San Ysidro border crossing by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Alvaro Hernandez-Fuentes, 38, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office. Hernandez-Fuentes is wanted in his native country for fatally shooting an acquaintance in the Mexican state of Colima Dec. 1, 1993.

According to the Mexican arrest warrant issued in January 1994, Hernandez-Fuentes' girlfriend lured the victim, Alejandro Gomez Garcia, to a location with the promise that marijuana would soon be available. When Gomez Garcia arrived, Hernandez-Fuentes was waiting, and proceeded to fire three shots with a .380 caliber pistol. When Hernandez-Fuentes realized the victim was still alive, he fired three additional shots. Hernandez-Fuentes's girlfriend eventually surrendered to police, telling them that Hernandez-Fuentes was attempting to force her to burglarize a store to fund his escape to the United States.

Hernandez-Fuentes' repatriation to Mexico follows his arrest July 12, at a residence in Watsonville, Calif., by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Santa Cruz Anti-Crime Team (SCCACT). The multi-agency law enforcement team was able to locate Hernandez-Fuentes after receiving a lead from the Mexican Attorney General's Office that the fugitive might be living in the Watsonville area. On August 9, an immigration judge cleared the way for the fugitive's repatriation to Mexico after Hernandez-Fuentes admitted he was, in fact, the same person wanted for the homicide in Colima.

"Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in our communities" said Joseph Vincent, assistant special agent in charge for HSI San Jose. "As this case makes clear, U.S. law enforcement agencies are working closely together to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes."

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 450 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.