United States Announces Extradition of Individual Charged in the Death of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar

Jan 28, 2010, 15:50 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Karen P. Hewitt announced today the extradition of Jesus Navarro-Montes from the Republic of Mexico. According to the indictment, previously unsealed in San Diego federal court, Navarro-Montes is charged in a three-count superseding indictment with federal narcotics violations and second-degree murder in connection with the death of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar on Jan. 19, 2008.

Navarro-Montes arrived today in Houston, where he will be presented in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Navarro-Montes will be transferred in the coming days by the U.S. Marshals Service to the Southern District of California where he will make his initial appearance there.

According to the superseding indictment, Agent Aguilar was on duty on Jan. 19, 2008, in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area in Imperial County, Calif., when he was struck and killed by a Hummer H2 driven by Navarro-Montes. The superseding indictment further alleges that Navarro-Montes conspired to distribute marijuana beginning at a date unknown and continuing up to and including Jan. 19, 2008. The superseding indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on May 6, 2009, and unsealed on May 14, 2009. The superseding indictment replaced an initial indictment handed up by a San Diego federal grand jury on Feb. 18, 2009, alleging that Navarro-Montes had possessed with intent to distribute approximately 445 kilograms of marijuana on Sept. 23, 2007.

If convicted of the charges in the superseding indictment, the defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years on the narcotics charges and a maximum sentence of life in prison on the murder charge.

The extradition announced today is the result of close cooperation between the United States and Mexican law enforcement authorities. The Department of Justice Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs was also instrumental in achieving this extradition.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Border Patrol - El Centro and Yuma Sectors.

The case is being prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Leshner and Todd W. Robinson.

An indictment is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice