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ICE apprehends previously deported illegal immigrant wanted for murder for almost 20 years

Federal immigration authorities say that agents have apprehended an illegal alien from Mexico who has been wanted for murder since 2000.

A news release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that Leopoldo Serrano Vargas – who is also known as "Leonel Serrano Vargas" and "Ricardo Hernandez" – was arrested in Houston last week for felony illegal re-entry after having been deported.

ICE explained that Serrano Vargas illegally entered the United States three times during December 2006 and was removed to Mexico three times during that same period. He now faces charges for coming back after those removals.

In addition to the re-entry charges, Serrano Vargas — a Mexican national in his 40s — has also been wanted by the state of California for the past 19 years for the murder of Luis Garcia Bucio.

ICE says the arrest was a result of a tip received by the Orange County District Attorney's office, which then worked with ICE and local authorities in order to track the suspect down.

“For almost two decades this criminal alien fugitive has gone to tremendous lengths to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities for his alleged crimes in California,” said Patrick Contreras, field office director for ICE Houston. “Our ICE Fugitive Operations team tracked down and arrested Serrano Vargas, removing a potentially dangerous criminal alien from our community and ensuring that he will face prosecution for his alleged crimes.”

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