August 20, 2008

ICE deports Mexican man wanted for murder in Chihuahua, Mexico

BEST team members locate, arrest fugitive at his mobile-home park residence

EL PASO, Texas - Local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on Wednesday deported a Mexican fugitive who is wanted for murder in his home country.

ICE immigration enforcement agents escorted Luis Miguel Quintana-Aguilera, 23, to the middle of Stanton Street Bridge at the El Paso Port of Entry where he was turned over to Mexican authorities. Quintana-Aguilera was sought by authorities in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, for the November 2007 murder of Rigoberto Romero Enriquez.

The Office of the Attorney General of Mexico contacted the ICE Attaché Office in Ciudad Juarez May 14 requesting assistance locating and arresting Quintana-Aguilera, who was believed to be in the El Paso area. Local Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) members arrested Quintana-Aguilera the same day.

BEST members arrested Quintana-Aguilera in a mobile home park in the 14000 block of Colonia Campo, west of Horizon City, Texas. Quintana-Aguilera was previously deported in 2002 after he was convicted for alien smuggling and transporting. After his arrest in May, he was processed and placed into removal proceedings while detained at ICE's El Paso Processing Center. He contested his removal, alleging that he was eligible to remain in the United States. However, an immigration judge denied his request on Aug. 18.

"The partnership between ICE and Mexico's Attorney General has proven beneficial to both countries," said Robert Jolicoeur, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in El Paso. "In this case, ICE officers removed a dangerous individual from our country, and Mexico took custody of an individual who fled to the United States to elude justice."

Quintana-Aguilera is the sixth murder suspect local ICE officers deported to Mexico since Oct. 1. ICE officers also deported an individual wanted for attempted sexual assault, and another wanted on drug charges. In fiscal year 2007, local ICE officers deported four fugitives wanted for murder, one for sexual assault, one for vehicular homicide, one for kidnapping and two child predators.

BEST is an ICE Office of Investigations-led, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), national initiative created along the U.S. southern border. The El Paso BEST team was formed in October 2006. Since its inception, the El Paso BEST team has arrested and prosecuted 357 individuals, obtained 185 federal indictments, and secured convictions against 162 people.

The BEST concept is for DHS law enforcement agencies, working cooperatively with other law enforcement entities, to develop a comprehensive approach to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations that pose a significant threat to border security.

BEST includes officers from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that are collocated to share information. This close coordination among law enforcement agencies also helps to identify and eliminate cross-border criminal organizations, such as alien smuggling networks, and the supporting infrastructure that sustains them.

In addition to ICE, El Paso BEST members include: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol and El Paso Field Operations, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the El Paso Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.

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