Mexican murder suspect handed over to Mexican authorities

NOGALES, Ariz. - A Mexican national wanted for vehicular homicide in his native country was turned over to representatives from the Mexican Attorney General's Office (PGR) at the border crossing in Nogales, Ariz., this morning by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Pablo Cruz-Rojas, 28, is suspected of causing a fatal traffic accident while driving under the influence in the state of Nayarit, Mexico, in July 2008. Cruz, who allegedly killed two people and severely injured a third, posted bail and fled to the United States in August 2008.

In August 2009, the FBI in Bakersfield, Calif., contacted the local ICE Office of Investigations and advised that Cruz might be residing illegally in Bakersfield. On the same day, Bakersfield ICE agents arrested Cruz at his residence on immigration violations. Cruz was subsequently transferred to the Florence Detention Center in Florence, Ariz., where an immigration judge ordered him removed to Mexico on Nov. 3, 2009.

After coordinating with the PGR and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations at the Dennis Deconcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz., ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) officers turned Cruz over to PGR officials at the port this morning.

"Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no shelter here," said Katrina S. Kane, field office director of ICE DRO in Arizona. "As the excellent teamwork shown in this transfer exemplifies, U.S. law enforcement agencies will work closely together to hold criminals accountable, no matter where they commit their crimes."

Since fiscal year 2007, ICE officers assigned to the agency's DRO program nationwide have arrested 214 fleeing foreign criminal fugitives from countries around the world.