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ICE & Marshals International Manhunt Nets Man Who Posed as Attorney for Detained Missionaries in Haiti

Jorge Torres-Puello/govt photo

Jorge Torres-Puello/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An international manhunt resulted in the capture late last week of Jorge Torres-Puello aka Jorge Torres Orellana, who posed as an attorney for the Idaho  church missionaries, who were detained in Haiti on kidnapping and abduction charges.

He was wanted in El Salvador, the U.S. and Canada for crimes against children, sexual exploitation of minors for pornography, organized crime and human trafficking, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Authorities say that Torres-Puello contacted the church in Idaho shortly after the arrest of the missionaries and said he had legal authority in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  He then received a retainer from the family of the missionaries and represented himself to the court and media as an attorney and spokesman for the group. He has no legal training as a lawyer.

ICE, the U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies tracked Torres-Puello down on Thursday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, authorities said.

“The location and arrest of this fugitive, wanted by three countries on some of the most egregious charges that ICE investigates, is an example of top-notch cooperation among law enforcement agencies in all these countries and our colleagues at INTERPOL,” John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement. “Hiding behind fake names or using phony identifications and passports will not protect those who prey on the most vulnerable in our societies. Together we will find you and bring you to justice.”


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Time March 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

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