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Enforcement and Removal

Suspect in decade-old kidnapping and murder turned over to Mexican law enforcement

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - A Mexican national wanted for kidnapping and murdering another man in Guanajuato, Mexico, more than a decade ago was turned over to representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office at the border crossing in San Ysidro, Calif., Monday afternoon by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers.

Juan Antonio Cruz-Carmona, 28, is charged with the December 1998 slaying of Christian Silva Castillo. According to Mexican authorities, the victim left his residence Dec. 10 to attend a city fair. A short time later, he allegedly met with the suspect and another man. The following day, Silva's father received a call from a man claiming they had kidnapped his son and demanding nearly $50,000 in ransom to free him. Silva's father was warned not to tell anyone or his son would be killed. A week and a half later, Silva's body was found dumped on a vacant lot in Guanajuato.

Cruz-Carmona's repatriation comes two months following his capture in Chino, Calif., by Los Angeles-based officers for ICE, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. The longtime fugitive was located based upon a lead received by the FBI's attaché office in Mexico City. Cruz-Carmona was taken into custody June 24 on administrative immigration violations and subsequently granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge.

"Combating cross border crime and violence is a top priority for ICE and the Department of Homeland Security," said Timothy S. Robbins, field office director for ICE ERO in Los Angeles. "Our goal is not only to see justice served, but to use our unique immigration enforcement authorities to protect law-abiding citizens on both sides of the border."

Since fiscal year 2007, ICE officers assigned to the agency's ERO program nationwide have arrested more than 200 fleeing foreign criminal fugitives from countries around the world.