Star Wars memorabilia instead of cold cash?
That potential trade apparently wasn’t a valuable enough get a man off the hook for a debt in a possible gang-related incident.
U.S. authorities have deported a Mexican citizen, identified in multiple media reports as Pablo Christian Larumbe Rojas, who was allegedly involved in the disappearance of the Star Wars fan/collector in September 2010.
The missing man, Carlos Palomares Maldonado, reportedly owed Rojas and his criminal associates $3,000, which he allegedly tried to settle up by handing over his extensive Stars Wars action figures collection.
According to U.S. immigration authorities, Maldonado disappeared in Mexico City when he attempted to pay off the amount he owed with the Star Wars toys. “He showed up at Rojas’ house with the memorabilia — said to be worth more than the debt itself — on Sept. 22, 2010, and was never seen alive again. His body was found days later when authorities arrested several men, who implicated Rojas in the kidnapping and killing, according to ICE,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.
U.S. officials learned four years later that Rojas was working at a Northern California hotel under an alias. Marshals and ICE agents took him into custody in February, and earlier this month an immigration judge ordered his deportation back to Mexico. At the San Diego border crossing this week, the suspect was turned over to officials from the office of Mexico’s attorney general for prosecution. Law enforcement authorities in that country had an outstanding warrant for his arrest on murder and kidnapping charges in connection with the Maldonado case.
Rojas reportedly entered the U.S. on a visitor’s visa and overstayed the six-month authorization.
According to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, “The so-called ‘force’ was definitely not with [the suspect] during his capture and subsequent removal to Mexico.”
[image credit: State Farm]