SAN DIEGO - A fugitive Mexican national murder suspect arrested on Halloween in Marysville, Calif., was turned over Wednesday to Mexican law enforcement officials at the border in San Ysidro, Calif., by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
David Isidoro Ramirez-Priego, 37, is wanted in the Mexican state of Hidalgo for the Oct. 1998 murder of Rosendo Lara Oviedo in the town of Canali. Ramirez is accused of shooting Lara Ovieda in the head at point blank range in a bar after the victim refused to buy him a drink.
Ramirez, who was in the United States illegally, came into ICE custody following his arrest Halloween night by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on suspicion of drunk driving. After CHP officers transported Ramirez to the Yuba County Jail, a detailed screening by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers, conducted as part of the agency's Criminal Alien Program, revealed the existence of the outstanding murder warrant. ICE officers immediately contacted representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office who confirmed the murder charges and the fugitive's identity.
"This case shows yet again the vital public safety benefits of the screenings ICE does at jails and prisons nationwide," said Michael Vaughn, assistant field office director for ICE ERO in Sacramento. "Thanks to enhanced technology and increased information sharing, it's more and more difficult for international fugitives to outrun the law -- which should be reassuring for law abiding citizens on both sides of the border."
ICE officers say Ramirez had no previous criminal or immigration arrests in the United States prior to his recent encounter with the CHP. He told ICE officers he was residing in Marysville and working in construction at the time he was taken into custody. After being turned over to ICE, Ramirez waived his right to an immigration hearing and agreed to return to Mexico voluntarily.
From April 2009 through Aug. 2010, ERO officers nationwide coordinated the removal of more than 150 foreign nationals being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.