McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — A 50-year-old Mexican national has been extradited from South Texas back to Mexico on kidnapping charges, U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials said Friday.
Francisco Lopez-Lopez was taken on March 22 to the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas, by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers and sent over the bridge to Matamoros, Mexico, where he was turned over to Mexican authorities, ICE officials said.
He was in the United States without legal papers and U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered him in September near the northern border in the town of Lewiston, Maine. He was issued a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge and placed in removal proceedings at that time and then put in custody by ERO officers in Boston. The officers confirmed at that time that Lopez-Lopez was wanted in Mexico on kidnapping charges issued by a court in the Mexican state of Chiapas in August 2012.
He had been flown to the Rio Grande Valley’s International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, by ICE officials from Boston.
In January, an immigration judge ordered him removed.
“ERO partners with law enforcement agencies across the globe to reduce these types of crimes,” ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd Lyons said in a statement. “Kidnapping is both terrifying for the victims and lucrative for the perpetrators and criminal organizations. Combating these types of crimes is a high priority for us. Every time ERO Boston removes a dangerous, foreign fugitive from the community it increases public safety for us all.”
Border Patrol agents previously encountered Lopez-Lopez in 2002 when agents say he entered the country illegally near Laredo, Texas.
ERO says in Fiscal Year 2022 there were 46,396 noncitizens who were arrested with criminal histories. This included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex-related and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.