Skip to main content

Suspected killer of immigration agent faces extradition to US

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Julian Zapata Espinoza was arrested in March
  • He is charged with the killing of ICE agent Jaime Zapata
  • The United States has requested his extradition

Mexico City (CNN) -- A Mexican drug cartel operative accused in the killing of a U.S. immigration agent in Mexico faces extradition to the United States, Mexico's attorney general's office announced Tuesday.

Julian Zapata Espinoza, alias "El Piolin," or "Tweety," was served with a new arrest warrant for extradition on Saturday, the agency said. The suspect, who had been arrested in February, was transferred to another prison.

The United States requested that Mexico arrest Zapata Espinoza with the aim of extraditing him for his "probable responsibility" in the killing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata on a San Luis Potosi highway on February 15.

Espinoza had been arrested in the weeks after the shooting, and allegedly told authorities that the killers were "confused by the aspects of the vehicle" in which Zapata and another ICE agent were seated. "They thought it was owned by a rival group," an official said.

Zapata Espinoza will be processed to determine if he will be extradited to the United States to face charges of murder, attempted murder and weapons possession.