NOGALES, Ariz. — A Mexican criminal alien wanted in his native country for firearms-related charges was turned over to Mexican law enforcement authorities at the Dennis DeConcini port of entry Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Neri Cristobal Rodriguez-Reina, 31, was turned over to Mexican federal police by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers just hours after completing a multi-year prison term with the Arizona Department of Corrections for convictions including felony burglary.
Rodriquez-Reina is the subject of a criminal arrest warrant issued in April 2006 by a district court in Sonora, Mexico, charging him with carrying firearms for the exclusive use of the military.
Rodriquez-Reina was admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1992. In May 2000, as he was returning to Arizona from a trip to Mexico, U.S. port authorities in Sasabe identified him as being the subject of an outstanding felony arrest warrant issued by the Pima County Sheriff's Office. He was paroled into the U.S. and subsequently convicted in Pima County court of felony solicitation to commit burglary, and sentenced to one year in state prison.
Following this prison term, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service placed Rodriguez-Reina in removal proceedings and an immigration judge ordered him deported to his native Mexico in November 2000. Rodriguez-Reina subsequently reentered the U.S. illegally in March 2006, just prior to Mexican authorities issuing the arrest warrant related to firearms charges.
In February 2007, Rodriguez-Reina was convicted again in Pima County court of felony first degree burglary charges, and sentenced to five years in state prison. Upon his incarceration, ERO Phoenix placed an immigration detainer on Rodriguez-Reina, and later reinstated his prior deportation order.
"ERO officers diligently track criminal aliens serving prison terms in Arizona to ensure they are immediately taken into ICE custody upon completion of their sentences," said Jon Gurule, acting field office director for ERO Phoenix. "Removing individuals who pose a threat to public safety and who flagrantly ignore court-issued deportation orders is a top ICE enforcement priority."
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 Homeland Security Investigations' Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.