Man extradited for 2020 murder in America illegally after 287(g) screening

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FREDERICK COUNTY, MD – An illegal immigrant wanted for murder was flagged by jail processing staff members in Frederick County. Now the man will face his murder charges and after serving his sentence, will be immediately deported by ICE.

On Monday, April 19, Santos Margarito Turcios Benitez, a suspect in the July 2020 murder of then 37-year-old Kelly Nicole Serra, was extradited from New York to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center to face charges for this crime.

As part of the inmate intake process, certified and trained officers screen each individual and through this process it was determined Benitez was in the United States illegally. The officer relayed this information to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcemen program manager for Frederick County,who then lodged an immigration detainer against Benitez.

Benitez will first have to adjudicate all of his local charges and once he does ICE will serve him his immigration paperwork, followed by official immigration proceedings for deportation.


“This is exactly how the 287(g) process was meant to work and if he is found guilty of that murder and serves his time, this individual will be deported back to his home country and out of the United States,” said FCSO Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

This is the 21st person we have encountered through the 287(g)program here in Frederick County that was charged with murder or attempted murder.

“This proves this program works and helps keep hardened criminals off our streets and out of our county, state, and country. This was not a routine traffic stop, this was not an event in which our deputies were out looking for illegal immigrants, which we are often accused of doing but never do, and this was not a targeted event. This is how the 287(g) process works here in Frederick County and throughout the nation and again I stand behind this proven process,” Jenkins said.

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