Border Patrol arrests convicted murderer smuggled into U.S. in Imperial County

A Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Santa Teresa, N.M.
(Russell Contreras / Associated Press)

A convicted murderer who was smuggled into the U.S. by two young adults was arrested this week along with another Mexican national by Border Patrol officers in Imperial County, authorities said Friday.

The 39-year-old man and his 25-year-old female companion were arrested about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday when the vehicle they were traveling in was stopped by a Border Patrol agent near Frink Road and Coachella Canal after attempting to avoid an immigration checkpoint, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said in a statement. Their identities were not disclosed.

The driver of the vehicle and a front-seat passenger were identified only as two 18-year-old U.S. citizens, officials said. The agent on the scene quickly determined that the pair had smuggled the two Mexican nationals into the country.

Records revealed that the older man had been convicted of murder on May 23, 2003 in Santa Ana in Orange County. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and was ordered removed from the U.S. in 2009.


The man was arrested and is being held in federal custody for further criminal prosecution, officials said. His female companion was deported back to Mexico.

The vehicle driver and front-seat passenger were booked on charges of human smuggling.

Sturgill writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.