Man wanted for drug trafficking arrested, returned to Mexico

Federal authorities say a man who has been wanted in Mexico for alleged drug trafficking has been returned to his country after being arrested late last week.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 41-year-old Benito Sanchez-Jimenez was brought to Mexican authorities after flying from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Louisiana and then to Arizona, where he was taken to the port of entry located in Nogales. His travel was coordinated by ICE.

Federal authorities say Sanchez-Jimenez was in the United States illegally after not complying with the terms of his admission back in 2021. They add he had previously unlawfully entered the country in July of 2001 and in June 2007, both times in Texas.

According to ICE and the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office located in St. Paul, Sanchez-Jimenez was jailed last September in Cass County, North Dakota for alleged motor vehicle theft. He was released to the ERO in October of 2022 for immigration proceedings. He was then taken to Kandiyohi County Jail.

Last November, the ERO verified he was still wanted in Mexico and an immigration judge ordered in January that Sancehz-Jimenez be returned to Mexico.

The ERO said it arrested nearly 46,400 non-U.S. citizens with criminal backgrounds during the 2022 fiscal year. Of those, the charges and convictions include:

  • Assault offenses: 21,531,
  • Sex and sexual assault offenses: 8,164,
  • Weapons offenses: 5,554,
  • Homicide-related offenses: 1,501,
  • Kidnapping offenses: 1,114.

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