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.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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