A Mexican fugitive has been handed over by the United States to Mexico, marking the first extradition under the new bilateral policy of targeting arms trafficking, the Mexican Attorney General's Office said.
Gregorio Salgado Lopez faces charges that he smuggled firearms purchased at Pete's Sport Shop in Madera, California, into Mexico, the AG's office said.
Salgado was arrested on March 22, 2009, at a customs inspection station in Sonoyta, a town in the northern state of Sonora, for transporting 55 .22-caliber rifles.
The suspect posted bond and was released by authorities, the AG's office said.
Salgado failed to appear in court and an arrest warrant was issued for him.
The Mexican government filed an extradition request for Salgado with the United States on June 6, 2011, and he was arrested in Fresno, California, by the U.S. Marshals Service on Nov. 8, the AG's office said.
"After the respective extradition processes, U.S. authorities agreed on June 8, 2012, to hand him over to Mexican authorities, (with the handover) occurring on June 12, 2012," the AG's office said.
Salgado was extradited "as a result of the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries in the area of the administration of justice," the AG's office said.
Mexican federal law enforcement agents traveled to Los Angeles, California, to take custody of Salgado.
The suspect was handed over to prosecutors in Sonora state, where he will be tried, the AG's office said. EFE