Jason Hopkins, DCNF
A man who is currently sitting in a U.S. jail cell for a grisly murder had been deported back to his home country of Mexico a total of six times, according to law enforcement.
Local police in Pasco, Washington, announced back in February that detectives, with the help of the FBI, were able to extradite Mexican national Adan Virgen-Ponce and place him in custody. Virgen-Ponce was wanted by police for a murder that took place over eight years ago.
He is suspected of stabbing Froilan Godines to death on February 7, 2010 at El Patron, a nightclub and restaurant in the town of Pasco. The altercation transpired when Godines, who was working as a doorman for El Patron, confronted Virgen-Ponce for trying to leave the nightclub with alcohol. The argument ultimately led to Virgen-Ponce fatally stabbing him multiple times.
Police were able to quickly identify Virgen-Ponce, who was residing in the U.S. illegally, as a suspect at the time, but he had evaded capture by fleeing back to Mexico.
Virgen-Ponce, however, had since been sentenced to prison in Mexico, and was serving jail time when U.S. authorities were able to extradite him back to Washington state. He has been charged with first-degree murder.
The February arrest brought long-due closure for Godines’ family members.
“Words can’t explain how much we miss him … how much we love him,” Godines’ daughter, Karen, stated to local media shortly after her father’s killer was apprehended by U.S. officials. “And sincerely from the bottom of our heart, I just want to thank him for giving me such a good life and a good family.”
Godines was killed two days before his 42nd birthday. He left behind seven children.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement confirmed that Virgen-Ponce had been removed from the U.S. a total of six times.
“ICE lodged a detainer with the Franklin County Jail on Adan Virgen-Ponce, aka Yovan lopez-Perez, a citizen of Mexico, after he was arrested on local charges,” ICE spokesperson Tanya Roman stated to TheDCNF on Friday. “Virgen-Ponce has been removed him [sic] from the U.S. on six prior occasions and he voluntarily returned once. On May 10, 2004, Virgin-Ponce was convicted in U.S. District Court for violation of 8 USC 1325/Present Without Admission and was sentenced to 45-days incarceration.”
Virgen-Ponce’s is currently being held in Franklin County jail in Washington state, with bail set at $1,000,000.
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