Suspect in 1995 DC homicide extradited from El Salvador to face charges

WASHINGTON — Following a lengthy extradition process, the main suspect in a decades-old homicide in the District is now back in D.C. where he is being held without bond.

Authorities were able to transfer Raul Rodriguez, 45, from El Salvador to face a first-degree murder charge.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Rodriguez was a member of the Vatos Locos gang who killed a man in a drive-by shooting in Southeast in May of 1995.

Charles Wilkins, a 31-year-old accountant with the U.S. Department of the Interior, was gunned down as he walked to his car near the Navy Yard Metro station.

Wilkins had no ties to a gang or to Rodriguez, prosecutors said.

After the crime, police quickly arrested Rodriguez, who had been living in Alexandria, Virginia.

However, Rodriguez, a Salvadoran citizen, was able to get out of jail by posting a $5,000 bond and fleeing to El Salvador.

It was not until 20 years after the shooting, in 2015, that authorities found Rodriguez in El Salvador working as a teacher.

Rodriguez was arrested in 2016 and was finally extradited to D.C. earlier this month.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office gave credit to a slew of agencies for helping with the complex case, including the FBI, Department of State, U.S. Marshals Service and the Salvadoran National Police.

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