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2012-10-11 digital edition

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2012-10-11 / Front Page

Interpol Murder Suspect Found In Lee County

An El Salvador man, wanted in his country for murder, organized crime and extortion, was turned over to officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office two days after his arrest.

Walter Fernando Alfaro-Pineda, 33, was arrested on June 18 by DPS Trooper Bob Thorp for speeding on Hwy. 290 East, near Giddings. When the Trooper found that he did not have a driver’s license, he arrested him and booked him into the Lee County Law Enforcement Center. As is protocol in the jail, a records check was done on the man and that’s when officers of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office discovered that there was a warrant out for his arrest.

The Lee County Law Enforcement Center notified ICE that they had Alfaro-Pineda in custody and that they were able to confirm from their record checking that an Interpol fugitive warrant indicated that Alfaro- Pineda was wanted by El Salvadorian officials for murder, organized crime and extortion. ICE confirmed the warrant with Lee County, so the Sheriff’s Office released Alfaro-Pineda into ERO custody on June 20.

Subsequently, on September 5, an immigration judge ordered that the suspect be removed from the U.S. He was deported and turned over to El Salvadorian officials on September 28.

Sheriff Rodney Meyer said, “The removal of Alfaro-Pineda into the hands of US immigration officials is a result of thorough screening and hard work by our jailers. Our standard operating procedure is to check the records of each inmate as they are brought into the jail, both on a local and state level, and also on a federal level. I am very proud of our staff for doing their job efficiently and conscientiously.”

The Assistant Field Office Director of ICE’s Criminal Alien Program wrote a letter of thanks to Sheriff Meyer last week. He wrote, “I wanted to inform you of this significant case and to thank you. It is important to recognize Lee County and to pass on appreciation to the jail officers for regularly contacting the ICE ERO Command Center. This case is an excellent example of an individual arrested for a traffic violation that was also the subject of an international fugitive warrant. This is a job well done by many and it all began in Lee County.”

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