A man arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, is one of five people charged with murder in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a robbery attempt, authorities said Wednesday.
Monday's arrest of Marcos Rodriguez leaves only one suspect at large, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas was shot eight times while on solo night patrol in a rugged, remote mountainous area in Campo, about 60 miles east of San Diego, in July 2009, sparking a massive law enforcement response on both sides of the border. Rosas was lured from his car during the robbery attempt and shot from behind.
Rodriguez and two others _ Emilio Gonzales and Christian Daniel Castro Alvarez _ are accused of shooting the agent and fleeing to Mexico with the agent's gear bag, handcuffs, firearm and night-vision goggles, the Justice Department said. Two others _ Jose Juan Chacon and Jose Luis Ramirez _ allegedly stayed in Mexico as armed lookouts.
Two defendants were recently arrested in Mexico last year, the Justice Department said. Ramirez was extradited to the United States Dec. 9, and Gonzales was extradited March 16. Neither has entered a plea in federal court, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Debra Hartman.
Rodriguez was sent to Mexico City after his arrest this week to begin extradition proceedings, said a Mexican official familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The official said suspects have told authorities that the at-large defendant, Jose Juan Chacon, is dead.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano commended Mexican authorities Wednesday for arresting Rodriguez. Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego, said the investigation "has been a prime example of the cooperation between Mexico and the United States."
Tijuana police said information from the FBI aided in Rodriguez's capture.
Alvarez, who was 16 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to murder in San Diego for his role in the killing and was sentenced last year to 40 years in prison.