Panama extradites Coral Gables rape suspect deported by ICE in 2018

Werner Orozco was extradited from Guatemala to face charges for a rape in Coral Gables. (MDCR)

MIAMI – Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents deported an accused rapist to his native Guatemala in 2018. Prosecutors said he often traveled from Guatemala, through Panama, to the Bahamas where he worked as a bartender at a local tourist spot in Bimini.

Werner Orozco, 42, is at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Saturday facing a sexual battery charge. He is being held without bond. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Orozco’s deportation “undercut the very credibility” of the criminal justice system.

“Neither I nor our law enforcement partners could ever allow that to stand,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “The victim deserved so much more.”

Panamanian police officers arrested Orozco on Feb. 21 after he arrived from Nassau at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. They were responding to an Interpol Red Notice, a request to law enforcement worldwide to provisionally arrest a person pending extradition.

Miami-Dade prosecutors in the extradition section of the legal unit worked closely with the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs. On Friday, U.S. Marshals escorted Orozco from Panama to the Opa-Locka Executive Airport and to the custody of the Coral Gables Police Department.

Orozco sexually assaulted a woman he worked with at a restaurant on Aug. 12, 2018 at her apartment in Coral Gables, police said. Orozco took her home and allegedly pinned her against the kitchen countertop and forcibly raped her.

Coral Gables officers overheard Orozco apologizing to the victim during a phone conversation and arrested him on Sept. 11, 2018. ICE deported him 13 days later.

“This criminal case will finally be resolved in a courtroom,” Fernandez Rundle said.


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.