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Press Releases 06

Recent Extradition And Arrest Of Two “Top-Ten” Fugitives Proves Importance Of U.S.-Mexico Law Enforcement Cooperation

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza, Jr.

Mexico City, June 20, 2006

“Working together, Mexican and U.S. law enforcement authorities this week are bringing to justice two criminals who have appeared on U.S. ‘Ten Most Wanted’ lists.

Today, authorities are extraditing Ruben Hernandez Martinez to the United States from Mexico. Hernandez Martinez is an exceptionally dangerous criminal who fled the United States to Mexico, and will now account for the heinous crimes he allegedly committed against the people of Tennessee.

Mexican authorities arrested Hernandez Martinez in May 2002, and prosecuted him on weapons charges. He is wanted in the United States on charges connected to a series of home invasions, sexual assaults, and burglaries that occurred between 1997 and 1998 in Nashville, Tennessee. He unsuccessfully appealed the Mexican government decision to extradite him. He has appeared on the FBI’s “Top 10 Most Wanted” list of dangerous fugitives and was also profiled twice on the popular television show “America’s Most Wanted.”

Pedro Castorena, arrested Saturday in Guadalajara, is a Top-Ten fugitive wanted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). A federal grand jury in Denver, Colorado, indicted Castorena in July 2005 on charges of conspiracy, fraud, misuse of visas, and money laundering. He was carrying two fake Mexican identity documents when Mexican police in Guadalajara arrested him.

The United States will request the extradition of Castorena, who will have to defend himself against charges that he assisted known criminals in obtaining false identification documents and that he defrauded thousands of unsuspecting migrants, whose otherwise good faith efforts to travel or emigrate to the United States have been rendered difficult or impossible to achieve, due to the use of phony visas, passports, and similar documents.

The Mexican government has extradited or deported 53 fugitives to the United States this year, and more will follow in the months ahead. This successful cooperation between our two governments again demonstrates how together we will work relentlessly to hold fugitives accountable for their crimes.”

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