The Sheriff’s Office says the individual was in the US illegally.
Frederick, Md (KM) A suspect in a homicide last year in Frederick County has been extradited. The Sheriff’s Office says Santos Margarito Turcios Benitez, 45, was apprehended in his home state of New York last week, and was brought to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center on Monday of this week. .
Benitez is charged with the murder of Kelly Nicole Serra, 37, of Frederick in July, 2020. Police say Serra’s body was found in a wooded area between 66 and 90 Waverly Drive behind the former Frederick Town Mall. She had been stabbed.
Authorities also say Benitez was in the U-S illegally. Once his case has been adjudicated in Frederick County, the Sheriff’s Office says Benitez will be served with immigration paperwork, and proceedings for deportation will take place.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins says a certified and trained correctional officer at the Detention Center, which screens all inmates coming in, determined that Benitez was in the US illegally. “This is exactly how the 287(g) process was meant to work and if he’s 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,” says Jenkins, in a statement. “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.”
The 287(g) is a federal program which lets local law enforcement determine a suspect’s immigration status. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has been part of it since 2008.
By Kevin McManus