A Mexican immigrant who fled to Sacramento after allegedly killing eight municipal officials in Sinaloa in 2000 was deported to Mexico on Tuesday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
Genaro Olaguez-Rendón, 54, was one of eight defendants charged with murder, aggravated assault and conspiracy in connection with the May 2, 2000 roadside massacre in the state of Sinaloa, headquarters of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. He admitted to authorities he had illegally entered the United States in 2001.
Olaguez-Rendón had begun a new life as a churchgoing landscaper and father of four who was renting a two-bedroom home in North Sacramento when he was arrested by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers and members of the U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force last December.
“Working closely with our partners in the U.S. Marshal’s Service and our partners in Mexico and the Office of the Mexican Attorney General, we were able to establish that Mr. Olaguez-Rendón might be residing in the Sacramento area, locate him and arrest in 2013,” said Mike Vaughn, assistant field office director, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Sacramento. “We also discovered he was wanted in San Joaquin County for possession, sale and cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to commit a crime.”
Olaguez-Rendón was first arrested in San Joaquin County last year on the marijuana charges, which involved four grow houses and hundreds of plants, along with gun charges and theft of electricity, according to published reports. He was released from jail while awaiting trial because of overcrowding, San Joaquin County officials said, adding they knew nothing about him being wanted in connection with the Sinaloa massacre.
After his arrest last December by federal officials, Olaguez-Rendón was returned to San Joaquin County, where he was convicted, sentenced to 365 days in jail and then turned over to ICE on Feb. 21. He was then held in the Sacramento County jail and placed in removal proceedings based on his aggravated felony conviction and illegal status, Vaughn said.
Olaguez-Rendón allegedly gunned down his eight victims in Sinaloa and seriously wounded several others with assault-style weapons. He was turned over to Mexican officials at the San Ysidro port of entry.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, “ICE has removed more than 720 foreign fugitives sought in their native countries for crimes such as kidnapping, rape and murder,” Vaughn said.
“People who commit crimes in other countries shouldn’t think they can escape justice by fleeing to the United States – this is not a refuge,” said ICE spokeswoman Lori K. Haley.
Carlos González Gutiérrez, the consul general of Mexico in Sacramento, said, “This is definitely great news. The fight against organized crime is a transnational challenge, and this case shows how collaboration is key for the success of these efforts.”
Call The Bee’s Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072. Researcher Pete Basofin and reporter Sam Stanton contributed to this account.