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Press Release

Mexican National, Arrested for Illegal Re-entry, to Serve 20 Years in Federal Prison Following New Mexico State Prison Sentence for Murder Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

SAN ANTONIO – A Mexican national was sentenced in a federal court in San Antonio to 240 months in prison for one count of illegal re-entry into the United States. The man was previously sentenced by a New Mexico state court for murder.

According to court documents, Luis Antonio Talamantes-Romero, 36, of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, was arrested by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO) agent who learned Talamantes had illegally re-entered the U.S. after being deported multiple times. Talamantes pleaded guilty to the indicted offense in May 2020.

The following year, in June 2021, Talamantes was charged with murder in New Mexico state court. In the murder trial, an accomplice testified that he and Talamantes were breaking into cars in Albuquerque the night of Nov. 19, 2019, when they saw 55-year-old Jacqueline Vigil warming up her vehicle in her driveway. Talamantes said he wanted to rob her and shot Vigil in the head when she honked her car horn. The next day, Talamantes fled Albuquerque for San Antonio, where he would be arrested by ICE. The New Mexico jury found Talamantes guilty of murder and a variety of other offenses. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 26.5 years to run consecutively.

Talamantes-Romero’s 20-year federal prison sentence will run consecutively to any time he serves in New Mexico. There is no parole in the federal system.

“This maximum prison sentence for Talamantes-Romero will prevent him from further violating our immigration laws and protects the public from his violent acts, which sadly included the senseless murder of an innocent woman,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “I deeply appreciate the work of our partners at ICE to apprehend Talamantes and thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District New Mexico for assisting with the prosecution.”

“We are one community, and the loss of one is a loss to us all,” said U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez for the District of New Mexico. “We will fight for justice for New Mexicans, no matter what the charge, no matter where we have to go. I thank the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for their support, and the brave men and women of the FBI and APD for never relenting in their search.”

“This reflects ERO’s ongoing efforts to increase public safety by removing criminals from our communities,” said Director Corey Price for the ERO San Antonio Field Office. “We will continue to identify, arrest and remove noncitizens who pose a threat to our nation.”

ICE-ERO investigated the case. The FBI Albuquerque Field Office provided valuable assistance in the prosecution, along with the Albuquerque Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Calve for the Western District of Texas prosecuted the case along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fred J. Federici, Letitia Carroll Simms, Jack E. Burkhead, and James R.W. Braun for the District of New Mexico.


Updated April 9, 2024