Abduction suspect in country illegally: Authorities

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By Matt Zapotosky
Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 6:26 PM

The man arrested for briefly abducting a woman whose car he hid inside at a Prince George's County gas station was deported from the U.S. in February 2009 and had apparently made his way back into the country illegally, authorities said Tuesday.

Miguel Angel Morales-Iraheta, 32, was ordered removed from the U.S. by an immigration judge on Oct. 1, 2007. He was taken to El Salvador on Feb. 27, 2009, after he finished serving prison time on a different criminal charge in Maryland, according to authorities, sources and court records.

When Morales-Iraheta was arrested in connection with Sunday's incident, his fingerprints came up as a match in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Secure Communities program, which helps federal authorities identify illegal immigrants that are booked on local criminal charges, authorities said.

ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein said ICE has lodged a detainer on Morales-Iraheta, which means he will remain in federal custody after his local charges are adjudicated. He also faces an open warrant for first-degree rape in Montgomery County, authorities said.

In Sunday's incident, Morales-Iraheta climbed into the back seat of a car a woman left unlocked at a gas station in the 2300 block of University Boulevard, authorities said. After the woman pulled away, Morales-Iraheta wrapped his arms around her neck and ordered her to drive, but she was able to escape at a red light.

Police later spotted Morales-Iraheta run a red light in the woman's car. They gave chase, and Morales-Iraheta crashed and was arrested, authorities said. Online court records show he was charged with theft and robbery.


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