ICE Arrests Mexican Wanted for California Homicide 19 Years Ago

Leopoldo Serrano Vargas is wanted in California for allegedly murdering Luis Garcia Bucio in October 2000. (Courtesy of ICE)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deportation officers arrested a three-time deported Mexican man who is wanted on an outstanding warrant for homicide in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday.

This investigation was conducted by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Houston, Anaheim Police Department (APD), and Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office.

Leopoldo Serrano Vargas, (aka Leonel Serrano Vargas, and Ricardo Hernandez) – an illegal alien from Mexico, reportedly 44-46, was arrested Sept. 11 at his residence in Northeast Houston for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported, which is a felony.

(ICE fugitive operation teams arrest immigration fugitives, re-entrants and convicted criminal aliens. Courtesy of Bridget Bosch and YouTube.)

Serrano Vargas is wanted in California for allegedly murdering Luis Garcia Bucio in October 2000.

In December 2006, Serrano Vargas illegally entered the U.S. three times in a span of eight days; he was removed to Mexico on Dec. 12, Dec. 14 and Dec. 18.

In 2006, Serrano Vargas again illegally entered the U.S. and has unlawfully remained in the country since then.

“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.”

(Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) enforces the nation’s immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the U.S. This unit prioritizes the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Individuals seeking asylum also work with ERO. ERO transports removable aliens from point to point, manages aliens in custody or in an alternative to detention program, provides access to legal resources and representatives of advocacy groups and removes individuals from the United States who have been ordered to be deported. Courtesy of ICE and YouTube.)

APD detectives contacted ICE officials earlier this year after receiving a tip from OCDA that a suspect from a 2000 homicide was possibly living in the Houston area under an assumed name.

APD and ERO Houston further investigated, which led to ICE locating and arresting Serrano Vargas.

Following this arrest, OCDA’s Science and Technology Unit assisted in confirming Serrano Vargas’ identity through the use of Rapid DNA technology.

Serrano Vargas remains in ICE custody in Texas pending his extradition to California to face state criminal charges for homicide.

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ICE will seek to take custody of Serrano Vargas for his immigration violations following disposition of his criminal proceedings.

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