WASHINGTON—One of the accused killers in the murders of a U.S. consulate employee, her husband and another man in Juarez, Mexico, has been extradited to the United States to stand trial, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Miguel Angel Nevarez was among 10 alleged members and associates of a Southwest border gang indicted in the slayings of consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs. They were killed on March 13, 2010 when gunmen opened fire on their sport utility vehicle after they left a birthday party.
Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, also was killed by gunmen after leaving the same event in a separate vehicle.
Nevarez, 30, was charged with conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering and federal firearm charges in the killings of the three. Nevarez arrived in the United States on Thursday and made his initial appearance Friday before a federal magistrate judge in El Paso. He had been in the custody of Mexican authorities pending extradition since his arrest on Oct. 30, 2010.
A grand jury indictment unsealed in March in El Paso, Texas, charged 10 defendants in the killings along with 25 other people—saying all 35 were linked to the Barrio Azteca gang. All but four of the 35 are in custody in the United States or Mexico and all including Nevarez are charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, drug distribution, drug importation and money laundering.
The indictment did not supply a motive for the killings—which Attorney General Eric Holder said in March were so brutal that the motive was almost irrelevant.
At the time, FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry said the case was an important step in dismantling one of the most violent gangs along the Southwest border.
U.S. law enforcement officials said that to increase its power, Barrio Azteca formed an alliance with the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug trafficking organization in Mexico and conducted enforcement operations against VCF rivals.