YUMA – In a joint effort, U.S. Border Patrol agents and the Mexican government teamed up to capture Alex Leon, one of three men wanted for the murder of 22-year-old Chad Bruno.

Bruno was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 11 near Casa Grande Mountain. Also wounded in the attack was Alexia Resendiz, who was released from the hospital last week.

The homicide occurred around 12:45 a.m. near Barstow Avenue and Hanna Road south of Interstate 8 on the west side of Casa Grande Mountain Park. There is a trailhead nearby and Casa Grande police said it is “historically” known as a party area.

Authorities are still seeking the arrests of Ryan Jesus Gastelum, 19, and Ricardo Melchor, 18, in connection with the shootings. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office says the victims and suspects did know each other.

The Border Patrol and the Mexican Government worked together to identify and extradite Leon as a wanted murder suspect who fled to Mexico to evade arrest in the United States.

At approximately 7 a.m. Sunday, the Yuma Sector Foreign Operations Branch of the Border Patrol received information regarding an individual, encountered in Mexico by Sonoran State Police, PESP, who claimed to be a United States citizen. Record checks verified that the individual was a United States citizen, and wanted by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the homicide in Casa Grande.

The FOB coordinated with Tucson Sector Border Patrol assets to transfer Leon’s custody from the Government of Mexico to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office the following day. The 20-year-old man was booked on attempted murder and murder charges.

“Yuma Sector consistently conducts binational collaboration efforts with our Government of Mexico partners to enhance public safety in both the United States and Mexico,” said Yuma Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Carl E. Landrum. “We integrate efforts and incorporate partnerships with local, state, federal, tribal and international law enforcement entities who are likewise charged with protecting our citizens and communities to fulfill our mission of border and national security.”

Gastelum and Melchor are still at large, and should be considered armed and dangerous. It is believed that these two suspects may have fled to Mexico as well. The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, and we are deeply saddened by incidents such as these. Our Detectives are working hard to locate and apprehend the two outstanding suspects in this brutal crime, and we ask for the help of our community to do so.”

PCSO is asking anyone with information related to this case or the whereabouts of Gastelum and/or Melchor to contact PCSO at (520) 866-5111. Detectives Converse and Dudish are the case Detectives.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials also welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.