Photo: Mexican Mendoza Brothers Extradiated
Two Mexican brothers wanted in their native country for a murder three years ago were turned over to Mexican law enforcement officials at the San Ysidro border crossing here Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, four days after their capture in Monterey County.
Miguel Mendoza-Sarabia, 33, and Alonso Mendoza-Sarabia, 25, were transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office by ICE officers. Mexican authorities allege the brothers gunned down Heraclio Soto Felix in the streets of the Sinaloan community of Nuevo Mundo on May 11, 2008, as he walked home from a Mother’s Day gathering. Several witnesses observed the shooting. The motive for the killing is still unknown.
The brothers’ repatriation to Mexico follows their arrest April 18 on a ranch south of King City, Calif. The men were taken into custody on administrative immigration violations by special agents from ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The brothers’ capture came after Mexican authorities alerted the U.S. Marshals Service about the fugitives’ possible whereabouts. The brothers, who entered the United States illegally, agreed to accept a voluntary return to Mexico, paving the way for their repatriation Friday morning.
Friday’s return of the two Mexican murder suspects comes less than two weeks after ICE’s repatriation of another high-profile Mexican fugitive captured in northern California. Fausto Perez-Rafael, 42, a former Mexican federal police officer wanted for cocaine trafficking, was turned over to Mexican authorities April 13. Perez-Rafael was arrested in the East Bay community of Pittsburg, Calif.
Since April 2009, ICE ERO officers nationwide have coordinated the removal of more than 175 foreign nationals being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.