MIAMI May 7 A Cuban man accused of a $2.8
million gold heist in Miami was deported from Belize and brought
back to the United States on Wednesday to face charges,
Raonel Valdez-Valhuerdis was arrested in February in Belize
after immigration officials stopped him while he crawled through
bushes near the border between Belize and Guatemala.
Authorities say Valdez robbed a courier at gunpoint in
October 2012 in the affluent Miami suburb of Coral Gables,
stealing two suitcases holding $2.8 million worth of gold
nuggets bound for a nearby refinery.
"We have brought back to South Florida a violent fugitive
who will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes," Amos Rojas, an
official with the U.S. Marshals Service, said in a statement.
Valdez was wearing a court-mandated ankle-monitoring device
at the time of the robbery.
He was later apprehended and charged, but a Miami-Dade
circuit judge agreed to allow him to be released with another
ankle monitor after posting a $75,000 bond.
At the time of his release, Valdez faced charges of armed
robbery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon, grand theft and tampering with an electronic
Days later, Valdez stole a speedboat in the Florida Keys
after jettisoning the ankle monitor, according to David Bolton,
a private investigator hired to find Valdez by the owner of the
gold, Bolivian-based export company Quri Wasi.
When Valdez was detained by officials in Belize, he was
carrying a Cuban passport issued two months after he allegedly
committed the armed robbery of the gold, officials said.
(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Eric Walsh)