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For Immediate Release

Contact:
September 13, 2010 Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Gerke
District of Vermont, 802-951-6691;
USMS Office of Public Affairs, 202-307-9065
International Criminal Extradited To United States
Jorge Torres-Puello extradited from the Dominican Republic to Vermont
Washington – Jorge Torres-Puello was extradited from the Dominican Republic to the United States today. The Dominican Republic recently ordered his extradition and today U.S. Marshals escorted Torres-Puello to Vermont where he is wanted on alien smuggling offenses. Torres-Puello was the subject of an international manhunt that spanned several countries earlier this year.

The international manhunt ended March 18 with the capture of Torres-Puello aka Jorge Torres Orellana in the Dominican Republic. After a coordinated effort between the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and multiple law enforcement agencies in the United States and overseas, Torres-Puello was located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and arrested.

“We would like to thank the Dominican authorities for granting the extradition of Jorge Torres-Puello, so he may face justice for his crimes," said Director John F. Clark of the United States Marshals Service. "This continued cooperation between international communities ensures fewer safe havens for criminals fleeing our borders."

After Haitian authorities detained 10 U.S. missionaries on kidnapping and abduction charges, Torres-Puello contacted their church in Idaho, claiming he was a legal authority on Haitian and Dominican law. Shortly after their arrest, Torres-Puello contacted their church in Idaho and said he was a legal authority on Haitian and Dominican law. He obtained money from the families of the missionaries and began representing himself to the Haitian court and international media as the attorney/spokesman for the detained Americans.

In February, law enforcement authorities in El Salvador were notified the individual acting as the legal advisor to the U.S. missionaries bore a strong resemblance to Jorge Torres Orellana, the man wanted by El Salvadorian authorities. Authorities in El Salvador requested the assistance of INTERPOL, and an INTERPOL Red Notice was issued to law enforcement agencies worldwide.

INTERPOL Washington, having previously been in communication with authorities in El Salvador, immediately confirmed Jorge Torres Orellana was in fact a fugitive from justice also wanted in Canada and the United States. INTERPOL Washington served as the intermediary in coordinating efforts between multiple agencies in the United States and overseas, resulting in the apprehension of Torres-Puello.

“The extradition of Torres-Puello is the culmination of the high level of collaboration and coordination between INTERPOL Washington and our law enforcement partners,” said INTERPOL Washington Director Timothy A. Williams. “This case was another example of the strong partnership between law enforcement agencies to pursue individuals who have fled to international jurisdictions after their involvement in criminal activity and bring them to justice.”

Along with the U.S. Marshals Service International Investigations Branch and ICE, law enforcement officials in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canada and El Salvador participated in this international case.

Continued efforts and participation from the Direccion Nacional de Control de Drogas in the Dominican Republic along with the assistance of INTERPOL Santo Domingo, D.R., proved to be essential assets in the investigation.

A combined effort by the agencies mentioned above, along with the indispensable participation of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs; U.S. Department of State; U.S. Attorney Offices in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of Vermont; Dominican Republic Office of the Attorney General; and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, D.C. culminated in this arrest and extradition.

For more information about the U.S. Marshals Service, visit http://www.usmarshals.gov