Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector arrested Salvador Gutierrez-Vargas, a convicted felon who was deported in February 2021. Gutierrez was convicted of dismembering a human body and concealment of a homicidal death in Chicago, Illinois. Gutierrez was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for his role in the notorious murder of Jose Reyes, a 30-year-old migrant from Honduras in 2013.
Gutierrez-Vargas was arrested on Sunday after entering near Hereford, Arizona. Shortly after, agents discovered the details of Gutierrez-Vargas’ criminal past.
Gutierrez was involved in a widely publicized case involving the murder Jose Reyes, his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, who was stabbed to death in 2013 in Gutierrez’s home. After a missing person’s report was filed by Reyes’ family, Chicago Police eventually cracked the case and discovered the remains of Reyes in Gutierrez’s back yard.
The investigation revealed Gutierrez daughter, Daisy and mother to two children from the victim’s brother, later became romantically involved with the victim. Out of jealousy, Daisy Gutierrez and her new boyfriend, Milton Miranda, planned and carried out the murder inside her father’s home.
After luring Reyes to her father’s home, Miranda emerged from hiding and stabbed Reyes to death. The pair later enlisted Daisy’s father to help dismember and dispose of the victim’s remains.
Gutierrez, a citizen of Mexico, was charged with helping Milton Miranda to dismember the body and conceal the crime. Gutierrez dug a makeshift grave in his back yard.
Gutierrez and his daughter confessed to the crime and implicated Miranda. Miranda and Gutierrez’s daughter both pleaded guilty to first degree murder and were sentenced to 16 and 30 years, respectively. For his role in the dismemberment and concealment, Salvador Gutierrez-Vargas was sentenced to 15 years.
Ironically, the story of the gruesome murder was featured on the American television series Snapped, which aired on the very day Gutierrez chose to illegally enter the United States after his removal.
Gutierrez claimed Miranda coerced him into assisting in the crime and that Miranda was a member of Los Zetas. According to court documents, Gutierrez claimed he feared for his safety because of Miranda’s gang involvement. Gutierrez appealed his conviction citing inadmissibility of his confession and the court’s failure to properly consider his coercion defense. The appellate court upheld his conviction in June 2020.
After serving eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, Gutierrez was deported to Mexico in February 2021.
Gutierrez was remanded to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution and is awaiting arraignment. If convicted of re-entry after deportation as an aggravated felon, Gutierrez could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.