Man arrested in Utah repatriated to Guatemala for alleged murder

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Utah ERO Removes Guatemalan Murder Suspect. Image courtesy United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

GUATEMALA CITY — A man who had previously been deported and who was wanted in his native country of Guatemala for murder was captured in Utah earlier this year, and last week he was turned over to Guatemalan authorities.

According to a press release U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Walter Guillermo Reyes, 42, was repatriated to face charges for a murder that occurred July 28, 2011.

Reyes allegedly shot and killed Linares Granillo in the village of Honduritas as the victim rode on horseback and was accompanied by his wife and baby, according to the press release.

The U.S. Marshals Regional Task Force in Utah received a lead in February indicating Reyes was living in the Salt Lake City area, and authorities located the man and arrested him without incident on February 26 near 600 South and 500 West in Salt Lake City.

The release from I.C.E. indicates Reyes illegally entered the United States in 1990 but was repatriated to Guatemala in 1998 after he served a two-year prison sentence in California for robbery. Reyes allegedly entered the country illegally again in May of 2012. Reyes has been in the custody of I.C.E.’s Enforcement and Removal Operations since his arrest.

Reyes applied for relief from removal via his attorney, but that application was denied and that paved the way for the man’s removal to Guatemala.

“For the family members and other victims in this case, justice has taken some time, but they can take consolation in the fact the alleged assailant is now being held accountable,” stated Daniel Bible, field office director for ERO Salt Lake City, in the press release. “This fugitive’s arrest and repatriation are the direct result of the ongoing cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and our Guatemalan counterparts. Violent criminals who commit reprehensible crimes and believe they can evade justice by fleeing to the U.S. should be on notice — they will find no refuge here.”

James Thompson, U.S. Marshal for Utah, also gave a statement in the press release, which reads in part: ““This case demonstrates the effectiveness of the partnership between our federal, state and local counterparts by denying a dangerous and violent fugitive sanctuary on the streets of our cities. The U.S. Marshals Service will continue to pursue fugitives abroad, as well as foreign fugitives on our soil, so they can be held accountable for their crimes and the victims are able to receive the justice they deserve.”

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