SAN DIEGO – A Mexican national captured in Madera three months ago, who is charged with a mass murder in his native country, was turned over Tuesday to Mexican law enforcement personnel at a San Diego-area border crossing by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Miguel Cruz-Santoyo, 57, was transferred to the custody of representatives from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. Cruz-Santoyo is wanted in Mexico on charges of murder, battery and dangerous attack. According to the Mexican arrest warrant, on March 17, 2000, Cruz-Santoyo allegedly walked into an auto body shop in Morelia, Mexico, and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing three individuals and wounding two others. Prior to his arrest, Mexican authorities considered Cruz-Santoyo one of the most wanted fugitives in the state of Michoacán.
Cruz-Santoyo’s repatriation to Mexico follows his capture Oct. 23, 2013, at a residence in Madera. He was taken into custody without incident by officers with ERO Fresno’s Fugitive Operations Team. The arrest occurred after ERO Fresno was alerted by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office about the outstanding arrest warrant for Cruz-Santoyo. ERO immediately initiated a follow-up investigation and developed information on the suspect’s whereabouts.
"Criminals who seek to escape responsibility for their actions by fleeing to the United States will find no sanctuary in our communities" said Timothy Aitken, field office director for ERO San Francisco. "As this case makes clear, we are working closely with our foreign counterparts to promote public safety and hold criminals accountable – no matter where they commit their crimes."
Following his arrest in October, ERO placed Cruz-Santoyo in immigration removal proceedings. He was ordered deported by an immigration judge in San Francisco earlier this month, paving the way for Tuesday’s repatriation.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 566 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE’s Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.