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International murder suspect caught in Hughson
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A Mexican national wanted for a Mother’s Day murder nine years ago was apprehended in Hughson in March and turned over to Mexican authorities Friday.

Jose Ramos Negrete-Arriola, 36, is charged with homicide in a warrant issued in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.  The warrant alleges Negrete was responsible for the May 10, 2002, murder of Jesus Ojeda-Ojeda in Rancho Cerro Prieto del Carmen.  According to officials in the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, the victim was gunned down at a Mother’s Day street dance after he confronted Negrete about threatening his elderly father at the same event earlier in the evening. 

Negrete-Arriola was stopped for a traffic violation earlier this year in Hughson, however, deputies were unaware of his murder warrant and let him go.

Later his traffic violation popped up on the radar of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Legal Clerk Linda Hamilton was able to use the information gathered from the citation to help agents locate Negrete-Arriola’s whereabouts in Hughson. He was taken into custody on March 4.

“By working together, we’ve succeeded in taking a potentially dangerous individual off of the streets,” said Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson.  “Cases like this clearly show the benefits of local and federal collaboration and why it’s important for that teamwork to continue.” 

Subsequently, Negrete appeared before an immigration judge, who determined the fugitive had no legal basis to remain in the U.S., paving the way for his repatriation to Mexico.

On Friday he was turned over to Mexican law enforcement officials at the border south of San Diego.

Today’s repatriation is another example of the outstanding cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to protect law-abiding citizens on both sides of the border,” said Joseph Romel, assistant field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Fresno.  “ICE is using its unique immigration enforcement authorities to safeguard our communities from criminal aliens and others who pose a public safety threat, including suspects fleeing justice in their own countries.  As these violent criminal fugitives are discovering, they can’t outrun the law.”  

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.