An official of the Mexican state of Guanajuato confirms that a man detained by immigration agents in California is wanted on an arrest warrant for homicide in Mexico.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and could not say when the crime occurred, but said it was an intentional homicide case akin to a U.S. murder charge.
The official said Monday that Mexican prosecutors had asked the U.S. government to help find and detain Joel Arrona Lara. Arrona Lara's wife had to drive herself to the hospital and give birth without her husband after he was detained by immigration agents Wednesday in San Bernardino.
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The couple came to the U.S. 12 years ago from the city of Leon, Guanajuato, without legal authorization to live in the U.S. Emilio Amaya, an attorney for Arrona Llara, said his client's brother shares the same last name and believes there could have been a mix up.
Arrona Lara's attorney is working with the Mexican Consulate as well as Mexican attorneys to dig deeper into this arrest.
Arrona Lara, 35, was detained Wednesday, officials said. In a statement, spokeswoman Lori Haley said Arrona Lara "was brought to ICE's attention due to an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest in Mexico on homicide charges."
Arrona remains in custody pending removal proceedings. Amaya has filed paperwork for a bail hearing in hopes of getting his client out as soon as possible. The arrest went down when the couple stopped for gas in San Bernardino, just east of Los Angeles.
Surveillance footage shows two vehicles immediately flank the couple's van after they pulled into the gas station. Agents questioned the couple and asked for identification, Venegas said. Venegas, 32, said she provided hers but that Arrona had left his at home in their rush to the hospital.
The surveillance footage shows the agents handcuffing Arrona and taking him away, leaving a sobbing Venegas alone at the gas station. Venegas said she drove herself to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section for the birth of her fifth child.