NEWARK, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today Marvin Arugeta, 35, of El Salvador has been extradited back to New Jersey to face murder charges in the 2004 fatal shooting of Miguel Gamez, 31, of Newark.

On Feb. 15, 2004, at around 1 am, Gamez, and three other people were shot at La Caverna Bar located at 218 Mulberry Street in Newark.  Gamez died but the other victims survived.

  On that same date, Feb. 15, 2004, a warrant was issued for Arugeta’s arrest for the murder of Gamez, multiple counts of assault, and weapon offenses. On Nov. 12, 2004, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Arugeta with the murder of Miguel Gamez, the shooting of the three other victims and weapons offenses.  Argueta failed to appear for arraignment and the judge subsequentlyissued a bench warrant for Arugeta’s arrest. 

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Despite efforts to locate and arrest Arugeta for both the arrest warrant and the bench warrant for failure to appear for arraignment, he was never apprehended.

Approximately three years ago Arugeta was located in El Salvador. On July 2, 2018, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office received word that the Salvadoran Supreme Court fully approved the extradition of Argueta.

“We are pleased that after 14 and ½ years and through the joint effort of local, state, and federal authorities, Marvin Argueta was finally apprehended and brought back to New Jersey to face these very serious charges’’said Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who is handling the case. 

Acting Prosecutor Laurino commended the law enforcement partners who assisted in making the return of this defendant possible. They include the Department of Justice, Office of International Affair, the FBI, Department of State, US Marshalls, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and the Newark Police.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.