Pima County fugitive arrested after fleeing country
Alejandro Ortiz Guarena was arrested in Mexico Friday morning, after fleeing the country six months ago, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One of Pima County's most wanted fugitives is in custody and behind bars.
Deputy Tom Peine with the Pima County Sheriff's Department tells KGUN9 that 29-year-old Alejandro Ortiz Guerena was arrested in Mexico Friday morning, after fleeing the country six months ago.
Peine also says Guerena has already been extradited and now sits in an American jail cell.
Detectives with the Pima County Sheriff's Department Fugitive Investigative Strike Team received a notification from the United States Marshals Service Arizona WANTED Task Force Mexican liaison that authorities in Mexico had apprehended Alejandro Ortiz Guerena in Hermosillo January 18, according to Peine.
The Mexico Investigative Liaison program was created to facilitate cross-border investigations between the United States and Mexico, according to Daniel Leyva, Deputy U.S. Marshal with the District of Arizona.
Guerena and his brother were indicted in July, on a wide range of charges, from illegally conducting a criminal enterprise to money laundering to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Peine says Guerena was one of Pima County's most wanted persons who has now been charged with a felony warrant for one count of conspiracy to commit possession of marijuana for sale, one count of illegally conducting a criminal enterprise, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of fraudulent schemes and artificies and 21 counts of money laundering in the second-degree.
Guerena was believed to be the leader of an organization known as the Guerena Drug Trafficking Organization, or DTO, which was suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and money laundering, Peine says. The initial investigation began in 2009 when detectives with the Sheriff's Special Investigation Unit became aware of the Guerena DTO. In May 2011, several search warrants were served at multiple residences controlled by the Guerena DTO.
Nine On Your Side is told Guerena is also the older brother of Jose Guerena, the Iraq War Veteran killed in a 2011 SWAT incident at his home.
In may of that year, the team was attempting to serve a search warrant on Jose Guerena's home when they kicked in the door and found him in a crouched position, pointing an AR-15 at them.
SWAT opened fire, killing him. In the home, investigators found another AR-15 under his mattress and body armor.
Another brother, 25-year-old Jesus Gerardo Ortiz Guerena is still on the loose, also believed to be in Mexico. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.