Temecula, California - A fugitive wanted for a homicide that occurred in Temecula in 2008 and who was captured last year in Tijuana, Mexico, was returned to the United States today by members of an FBI fugitive task force, announced Bill Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
Jose Carmelo Torres, a former resident of the Fallbrook area, was extradited from Mexico to the United States this afternoon to face prosecution in a murder that occurred in Riverside County in 2008.
On January 13, 2008, detectives with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit responded to investigate a shooting in Temecula, California.
Torres was identified as the suspect, and on January 24, 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for Torres, now 30 years of age. During the investigation, after detectives established that Torres fled the state’s jurisdiction, they requested the assistance of the FBI’s Inland Regional Apprehension Team (IRAT) in locating and apprehending Torres.
On December 13, 2011, the FBI obtained a federal arrest warrant based on a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside, charging Torres with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP). IRAT worked closely with the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Mexico City to locate Torres.
In July 2013, Torres was arrested in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued in June 2013 by the government of Mexico. Torres has remained in custody in Mexico City since the arrest during extradition proceedings. Torres was returned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this afternoon under escort by members of the task force, including an FBI agent and a detective with the Riverside Police Department.
Torres was turned over to the custody of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department while he awaits prosecution on the murder charges by the District Attorney in Riverside. The federal UFAP warrant is expected to be dismissed.
The successful arrest and return of Torres was the result of cooperative efforts by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit; IRAT members; the FBI’s Legal Attaché assigned to the United States Embassy in Mexico City; and the Mexican government.
The FBI’s Inland Regional Apprehension Team includes members from the FBI, the Riverside Police Department, the San Bernardino Police Department; and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Agents with United States Customs and Border Protection provided considerable assistance during the process at Los Angeles International Airport today.
The FBI continues to work with local law enforcement to apprehend violent criminals charged with state crimes who then flee the jurisdiction interstate or internationally. Photos and descriptions of many fugitives wanted by the FBI can be found at www.fbi.gov.