A U.S. Customs and Border Protection special ops team along with law enforcement partners arrested a man who is accused of killing five neighbors, including a 9-year-old boy, with an AR-15 in Cleveland, Texas, on Friday night.
Francisco Oropesa, 38, was the subject of a multi-agency manhunt before his arrest Tuesday in Conroe, Texas. After the FBI received an anonymous tip indicating his location, the suspect was taken into custody at about 6:45 p.m.
“Thank you to all of the FBI personnel and partner law enforcement agencies who’ve worked non-stop to arrest this individual to try to bring some justice to the 5 victims and return a sense of security back to the San Jacinto County community,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jimmy Paul said. “This is what we do. We show up, we bring all available resources, and we don’t let up.”
The victims are Daniel Enrique Laso, 9, his mother Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25, Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21, Julisa Molina Rivera, 31, and Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18. Wilson Garcia, who is Guzman’s husband, said he had asked Oropesa, who was shooting on his property, to keep the noise down as an infant was trying to sleep.
CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement late Tuesday that he is “incredibly proud of the members of our U.S. Customs and Border Protection workforce who, together with partners at the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, apprehended the suspect of Friday’s brutal murders in Texas.”
“CBP has been supporting the ongoing operation for several days,” Miller said. “Tonight, agents from the Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC unit apprehended the suspect without incident. Air and Marine Operations provided overwatch surveillance and aerial support to assist the multi-jurisdictional efforts.”
Miller noted that “in small towns and communities like Cleveland, Texas, the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection – in particular, the U.S. Border Patrol – provide integral law enforcement support to local authorities, protecting and serving the communities they live in.”
“Tonight’s actions clearly demonstrate that our agents and officers bring incredible capabilities to bear every day as they work to keep our communities safe,” he said.
An $80,000 reward had been offered for information leading to Oropesa’s arrest; Oropesa was first in U.S. immigration court in 2009 and an ICE source told CNN he “was apprehended and removed several more times by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations.” Mobile command centers fielded hundreds of pieces of information as agencies scoured the area for the suspect. San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told reporters that Oropesa was found in a closet underneath laundry.
“We just want to thank the person who had the courage and bravery to call in the suspect’s location,” Paul said.