Smuggled Homicide Suspect Arrested in California near Border

by BOB PRICE 19 May 2021

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents interdicted a human smuggling attempt and discovered a fugitive homicide suspect embedded within the group. The agents arrested the man and turned him over to local police for extradition to Orange County, California.

Agents patrolling roadways near the California-Mexico border observed suspicious activity around a blue Chevy Silverado pickup truck just west of El Centro, California, during the afternoon of May 17, according to information obtained from El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials. The agents followed the truck headed west toward Plaster City, California, and observed several people attempting to hide in the bed of the truck.

The agents attempted a vehicle stop but the driver failed to yield, officials reported. The truck turned onto an “off-highway vehicle” roadway in an apparent attempt to evade apprehension. The evasion failed when the truck became suck near Superstition Mountain.

Nine occupants of the pickup truck bailed out and fled on foot, officials said. The agents carried out a search of the area and apprehended all nine people. An immigration interview revealed all ten people, including the driver, to be foreign nationals illegally present in the United States.

The agents placed the driver and the nine smuggled migrants into custody and transported them to the El Centro Sector’s Centralized Processing Center.

During a biometric background check, the agents identified one of the men, a 26-year-old Mexican national, as a homicide fugitive. A records check uncovered an active “homicide” warrant out of Orange County. Officials confirmed the warrant and reported that the Costa Mesa Police Department will extradite the man.

The agents arrested the driver, a 23-year-old male Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. He is being held in federal custody pending his arraignment on charges of alien smuggling.

The other eight migrants — seven Mexicans and one Guatemalan — were processed and expelled under Title 42 Coronavirus protection protocols put in place during the Trump administration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So far this fiscal year, which began on October 1, 2020, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 1,000 migrants with active criminal wants or warrants after they illegally entered the U.S. according to the most recent CBP Enforcement Statistics report that covers arrests through the end of April. They also arrested nearly 6,000 migrants with criminal convictions.