U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday they helped advance a five-year-old sexual assault case by locating the alleged fugitive.
Fidel Ortiz Serna, a Mexican national who lived in Louisiana under a lawful permanent resident status, also known as a green card, was stopped crossing a pedestrian footpath from Mexico into Texas Monday.
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Ortiz Serna crossed the Hidalgo International Bridge before being stopped by CBP for a routine check.
An initial computer scan identified him as a possible suspect related to sexual assault charges filed in Louisiana in 2016.
A biometric verification through U.S. law enforcement and CBP databases then confirmed Ortiz Serna’s identity.
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Authorities also found an outstanding warrant issued from the Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana years prior.
“Our officers detected this fugitive wanted on sexual assault charges who had been on the run for a few years,” Hidalgo Port Director Carlos Rodriguez said in a statement. “This capture can hopefully bring closure to this case and those affected by the alleged actions.”
It is unclear for how long Ortiz Serna had stayed in Mexico after the warrant for his arrest had been issued, or if he had been out of the country when charges were first filed.
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Ortiz Serna was charged with one felony count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile relating to an alleged 2007 incident in Chalmette, La., involving a 15-year old victim.
The Mexican national was arrested by CBP before being handed over to local authorities and transported to Hidalgo County jail “where he will await extradition procedures.”