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Murder suspect wanted by Mexican authorities returned to Mexico after US capture

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A suspect wanted by Mexico for nearly four years in the killing of a man over a debt is in the custody of Mexican authorities after being captured in the San Francisco Bay area.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Pablo Christian Larumbe Rojas was handed over to Mexican authorities at a border crossing near San Diego on Tuesday.

In announcing the arrest and deportation of Rojas, ICE officials said in a statement that Rojas had been wanted by Mexican authorities since September of 2010 in the killing of Carlos Palomares Maldonado.

According to the arrest warrant issued for Rojas, Maldonado had owed associates of Rojas about $3,000, but instead of a cash payment, Maldonado had offered to trade his collection of Star Wars “action figures.”

That collection, according to authorities, was worth more than the amount of money owed.

Maldonado took his collection and went to see Rojas at his home, but was never seen alive again.

After his body was found several days later, Mexican police detained several people who implicated Rojas in the killing.

But Rojas disappeared, remaining free until February of this year when U.S officials received a tip that he was working under an assumed name as the night auditor at a hotel in Antioch, a city about 45 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Rojas was arrested by immigration officials and U.S. Marshals.

“The so-called ‘force' was definitely not with (him) during his capture and subsequent removal to Mexico," Timothy Aitken, San Francisco field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, said in a statement.

“This fugitive's arrest and repatriation are the direct result of the ongoing cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and our Mexican counterparts. Violent criminals who believe they can evade justice by fleeing to the U.S. should be on notice they will find no refuge here,” Aitken said.

Department of Homeland Security records show that Rojas had originally entered the U.S. in September 2011 on a visitor's visa, which authorized him to remain in the country for no more than six months.

After his capture, an immigration judge ordered Rojas deported to Mexico.

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