Feds at the Border Nab Tennessee Woman Wanted for Murder

Tennessee woman

Murder suspect Gloria Villa Avila, 41, was taken into custody on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, at the international border with Mexico. An indictment alleges she killed Ismael Rodriguez, 44, in September of 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

The arrest of a Tennessee woman wanted for murdering her fiance highlights the rigorous federal screening system at the US border with Mexico, officials said.

“During that inspection process, we basically query that individual through a variety of systems,” said Roger Maier, a spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, Texas. “If there is any sort of a lookout associated with that individual, be it a warrant or something like that, the officers are notified and then take the appropriate protocols following the notification.”

Federal officers nabbed 41-year-old Gloria Villa Avila on Monday, Aug. 29, in the pedestrian lane of El Paso’s Paso Del Norte border crossing and took her into custody. The US citizen was wanted on a warrant out of Tennessee for allegedly killing Ismael Rodriguez, 44, in September of 2019 in Nashville’s Old Hickory neighborhood.

Nashville Metropolitan Police officials said Rodriguez’s skeletal remains had been found in Kentucky.

Tennessee woman

On Halloween in 2020, US Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a smuggler attempting to enter the US as a pedestrian at the Paso del Norte border crossing from Mexico. He was carrying just over a kilogram of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, the officers said. US Customs and Border Protection photo.

Maier told Coffee or Die Magazine that a routine screening by a CBP officer had flagged Villa Avila. Her name popped up in the National Crime Information Center database, which law enforcement agencies use to pool information about criminal suspects.

Federal officers at the border can use the database to verify whether a warrant is still active, contact the agency that issued it, and then see whether law enforcement still wants to detain the person.

Some people voluntarily surrender when they arrive at the border crossing, Maier said, but others are shocked to discover they’re wanted by authorities.

Maeir told Coffee or Die that Villa Avila was detained without incident, and that’s also what usually happens.

“The people don’t really challenge the officers in most cases,” he said.

Read Next: Go Inside This Daring ‘Outside the Box’ Gulf of Mexico Rescue

Noelle is an award-winning journalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, who came to Coffee or Die Magazine following a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has strived to be a military journalist ever since her internships with the US Army Cadet Command in college. She worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military herself and served as a public affairs specialist attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. She deployed once to fill a role as a media analyst for the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait. She has a passion for sharing stories of heroes and people who are far more interesting than they think they are. She follows where the job takes her, but currently resides on the East Coast in Georgia.
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