A U.S. citizen was stopped from entering Mexico this week when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers learned he was wanted for an alleged gang-related homicide in central California.
Victor Manuel Valdovinos, 31, was arrested by CBP officers as he was attempting to cross through the San Ysidro Port of Entry into Mexico on Monday. He presented the officers with what appeared to be a valid California birth certificate and driver’s license. The officers carried out a routine records check during his exit inspection and learned Valdovinos was wanted by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office on an outstanding homicide warrant, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP officials in California.
Breitbart Texas contacted the sheriff’s office and confirmed that Valdovinos was wanted for the alleged homicide of 19-year-old Jesus Gallardo. The young man was killed in the Garza Park baseball field located in Patterson, California, in what appeared to be a gang related killing. Valdovinos is suspected of being a member of the Sureños 13 street gang.
The Sureños street gang is part of the Gulf Cartel drug distribution system in the midwest and southwestern regions, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center’s website. An article in the International Business Times from 2014 called the gang the “most dangerous gang in California.” A report from the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center in 2013 shows the gang to also be associated with the Los Zetas, Sinaloa, La Familia, and Arellano-Felix cartels. There are reported to be well over 100,000 members nationwide, the report states.
Garza Park is a notorious gang hideout, the Golden State Newspaper reported shortly after the killing of Gallardo. On the evening of January 4, 2012, Patterson police responded to a call of shots fired near the park. When police arrived, the Modesto Bee reported at the time. They did not find anything. An expanded search revealed the body of the young Gallardo behind the baseball field’s dugout. Valdovinos was identified as a person of interest the following day. Within six months, three other people, believed to be connected to gangs, were killed in Patterson, another Modesto Bee article revealed.
The Modesto Crime Stoppers organization put Valdovinos on their Most Wanted list in August 2016. He still managed to elude capture until CBP officers snatched him up this week.
“CBP officers have a significant responsibility in inspecting every individual entering into the United States to safeguard the American people and our communities,” San Ysidro Port Director Sidney Aki said in a written statement. “The officer’s commitment and diligence in this case will ensure that this man will now have to face the serious charges against him.”
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told Breitbart Texas they were grateful that Valdonivos was in custody and would be returning to face justice.