Los Angeles, California - A man wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2018 murder of his pregnant wife in the city of El Monte was extradited from Mexico to Los Angeles last Friday, announced Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and Alex Villanueva, the Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Octavio Curiel-Martinez, 37, a Mexican national, is suspected in the murders and related violent crimes. The victims, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, were discovered at an El Monte residence on August 29, 2018, and were pronounced dead at a hospital later that evening.
Based on an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the El Monte Police Department, Curiel-Martinez was charged in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, with murder (two counts); attempted murder; assault with a firearm (two counts); shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied car; corporal injury to spouse (two counts); assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury; felony child endangerment (two counts); and misdemeanor child endangerment (six counts). A state warrant was issued for his arrest on September 5, 2018.
LASD detectives assigned to the case identified Curiel-Martinez as a suspect following the murders and determined that he fled the state of California to Mexico. Investigators and prosecutors later enlisted the assistance of the FBI to locate and apprehend Curiel-Martinez.
A federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, on March 15, 2019, after Martinez was charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP).
Curiel-Martinez was located based on information provided by U.S. investigators and arrested by Mexican police officers on unrelated local charges in Bolanos, Jalisco, Mexico, on May 17, 2019.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office formally requested the extradition of Curiel-Martinez and a provisional arrest warrant was issued by the Mexican government on May 23, 2019.
Curiel-Martinez was then transported to Mexico City pending extradition to the United States.
Following the return to the United States on January 3, Curiel-Martinez was booked into the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to await prosecution by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The United States government is expected to dismiss the federal warrant charging Curiel-Martinez with UFAP.
The fugitive investigation, arrest, and extradition of Curiel-Martinez was a coordinated effort among multiple law enforcement agencies in the United States and Mexico, to include the Policía Federal Ministerial (PFM); FGR – Fiscalia General de la Republica (Office of the Attorney General of the Republic); Instituto Nacional de Migracion (Mexican Immigration); the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Mexico City; detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the El Monte Police Department; and the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. The extradition was handled by prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs.
The return of Curiel-Martinez was sponsored by the United States government’s “Project Welcome Home,” which provides funding for the transportation of FBI fugitives to the United States, where the repatriation by the host country occurs through deportation or extradition.
The FBI continues to work with local law enforcement as well as counterparts in other countries to apprehend violent criminals charged with state crimes who then flee the jurisdiction interstate or internationally.