In this undated photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 is seen ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata. Zapata, on assignment to the ICE Attache in Mexico City from his post in Laredo, Texas, died Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011 when gunmen attacked the agents’ vehicle as he and another agent drove through the northern state of San Luis Potosi. The second agent, who wasn’t identified, was shot in the arm and leg and was in stable condition, according to statements from the Department of Homeland Security. (AP Photo/ICE) Original Filename: Mexico ICE Agents Shot.JPEG-02e36.jpg
A Mexican drug cartel member accused of killing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Jaime Zapata was extradited from Mexico and is being held in the United States to face murder charges, U.S. Justice Department officials said Wednesday.
Julian Zapata Espinoza, known as “El Piolin” or “Tweety Bird,” is in federal custody in the District of Columbia.
A federal grand jury in April returned a four-count indictment charging him with murder in the death of Zapata, attempted murder of ICE special agent Victor Avila, one count of a murder and attempted murder of internationally protected persons and one count of using a firearm during the crimes.
“The indictment, unsealed today, and the successful extradition of Piolin to the United States, reflect the Justice Department’s vigorous and determined efforts to seek justice for agents Zapata and Avila,” said Lanny Breuer, assistant U.S. attorney general.