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ICE, US Marshals arrest Mexico murder suspect living in Santa Ana

June 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A murder suspect from Mexico had been living for years in Southern California.

Thursday, he's in the custody of Mexican officials thanks to work by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals.

Navor Bravo was wanted in Mexico for murder. The 37-year-old and has been living in Santa Ana.

"This individual has been here over four years and working here," said Deputy Field Office Director David Marin from ICE. "Living here, just trying to blend into society."

Authorities stopped a van. Bravo's brother and several others were inside, but not the suspect. Shortly after, the team found him nearby waiting for a ride to his landscaping job.

Bravo told ICE agents that he's wanted in Mexico for something but wouldn't go into detail. Authorities didn't press him with the hope that he wouldn't fight his return to Mexico.

"He went out and murdered," said Marin. "Shot this person seven times, dragged him for 60 feet, then shot him again."

Several hours after his arrest, Bravo agreed to go back to Mexico. When turned over to Mexican officials, he admitted that he was surprised by his capture.

Authorities say over the past few years, ICE has helped capture more than 200 fugitives who slipped into the U.S. to avoid prosecution in their own countries.

"Our diversity here in the U.S., they just come and try to blend in." said Marin.

Officials say they're tracking down more fugitives hiding in Southern California due to better communication between various law enforcement agencies. They say new technology also helps.

As Bravo returned to Mexico, Sergio Reyes arrived at the border. Reyes is suspected of killing his elderly neighbor in Mexico in 2007.

Authorities are relieved that hours of surveillance and hard work has again paid off.

"The main thing is nobody got injured," said Marin. "The community is a safer place because a murderer is in custody. He's being returned to his country to answer to his crimes."

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