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Border Patrol Breakdown: Murder Suspect Fled Back to Mexico
By John Gilliland Correspondent
July 22, 2005

( -- The discovery of a suspected triple murderer in Mexico is prompting some embarrassing questions about U.S. border security in Arizona.

Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Mexican Consul General Carlos Flores Vizcarra announced the capture of 34-year old Rodrigo Cervantes-Zavala in Puerto Vallarta and the recovery of his two children.

Arpaio said a Maricopa County grand jury has charged Cervantes-Zavala, a Mexican national living in the U.S. illegally, with murdering 17-year old Jesus Manuel Acosta, 63-year old Saul Lopez Acosta, and 51-year old Trinidad Castro Acosta, who were all found shot to death in the early morning hours of July 10 in their home near Phoenix.

The Acostas were grandparents and uncle to Cervantes-Zavala's two children -- 18-month old Bryan and 3-year old Jennifer -- both American citizens, who he is accused of kidnapping and taking with him as he fled to Mexico. The children's mother, Isabel Acosta, also an illegal, found the murder scene and immediately reported it to the sheriff's office, who issued an Amber Alert four hours later. Border authorities were alerted and the search began.

But even after the alert was issued, Cervantes-Zavala was allowed through the border at Nogales, Arizona. Mexican authorities even stopped and impounded Cervantes-Zavala's car, but they allowed him and his children to leave.

U.S. border officials were notified through special broadcast receivers and over the Internet, but since Mexico is not included in the Amber Alert system, authorities there were not notified.

Arpaio said warrants involving three murders, the kidnapping and a probation violation on a prior burglary conviction have been issued for Cervantes-Zavala, who is in police custody near Puerto Vallarta.

The sheriff refused to answer Cybercast News Service's question about how a convict who had committed crimes and was living illegally in the U.S. was able to escape deportation. "Why are you asking me such tough questions? What are you asking me for? We'll be here all day," he responded at the news conference.

Tuscon Border Patrol Public Information Officer Charles Griffin said procedures were in place to avoid the inadvertent release of criminal illegals.

"Once someone is convicted and we are notified, we can put a detainer on them and then custody can come back to us and we can return them. We also do jail checks, looking for illegal aliens who have slipped through," Griffin said.

Amid the questions and criticism about Arpaio's judgment, including that he allegedly aided the return of an illegal alien back into the United States, he was unapologetic. "If this is a smuggle it's a good smuggle. We're getting these two kids back home where they belong."

Extradition proceedings were expected to begin immediately to return Cervantes-Zavala to the U.S. to stand trial, but he will not face the death penalty. Mexico will not extradite an individual if that person faces a possible death penalty for the crime committed.

Arpaio said his main interest was for the welfare of the two children involved. "The children have been taken to a hospital, and it seems like they're okay," Arpaio said. "We were concerned with this guy, when he fled to Mexico, for the welfare of the kids. We just wanted to get the kids home."

Copyright © 1998-2005 - Cybercast News Service


First there were Two illegals and then by spawn Two illegals and Two anchor babies. Then there were 3 murder victims. The Two and Two had been reduced by three by returning to Mexico to One Illegal who could be deported. But now they will rejoin in the US and be our responsibility forever? One Illegal in Prison for Life With Parole living on our public dole; and One Illegal and Two Anchor Babies who without legal income or benefits or grandparents to babysit...will be on our public dole too?

Is this Madness or What?

They deported themselves; why didn't they deport the mother; they would all be in Mexico now rejoined there where they belong; and Vicente and the Mexican People could look after their own people.

This Sheriff may know how to treat American prisoners....I believe this is the one that puts American Citizens in tents in the desert....but he has no sense when it comes to illegal aliens.

It will take at least 1000 Working Americans Generations to pay enough taxes to support this band of 4.

Why don't they deport the mother and she can go to Mexico and join her children. There can not be a law that forces the authorities to carry the children back and deliver them to an illegal alien in the United States can there when we have a law that says the mother must be deported? On what basis could she claim to remain with no American Children in the United States?

Is this legal madness or what?

I wonder what Judge Roberts would do?

It's JUST NUTS!! If Americans think we can afford to pay for this crap, they are sorely mistaken. Pass the Anchor Babies Law and do it quickly.