Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 16-378

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • August 9, 2016
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    2010 Murder Suspect Arrested

    As a result of the vigilance of HSI special agents and our partners at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a suspected murderer will now face justice," said Susan L. McCormick special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

    • Monday
    • August 8, 2016
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Brownsville, Texas

    Murder Suspect:


    Mario Mercado, DOB 9-29-89
    Address: At Large - Mexico

    08/08/16
    Brownsville, Texas

    Victims:

    Gregorio Santana, DOB 7-3-87 (fatality)
    12302 Big Bend Road
    Riverview
    Member of "Latin Life" gang

    Felix Santana, DOB 7-3-87
    12302 Big Bend Road
    Riverview
    Member of "Latin Life" gang

    Christopher Sanchez, DOB 7-15-88
    12502 Elnora Drive
    Riverview
    Member of "West Side" gang

    Details:

    Since October 5, 2010, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives have had an active murder warrant for the arrest of Mario Mercado who was believed to have fled to Mexico immediately after the murder of Gregorio Santana and the attempted murder of Felix Santana.

    On July 28, 2016 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) confirmed that a US Citizen was residing in Mexico using two false Mexican birth certificates. The Citizen was identified as Mario Mercado Sanchez and wanted in Hillsborough County. HSI in Tampa coordinated with Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to provide necessary documentation to the Government of Mexico to confirm the identity of Mercado.

    On August 8, 2016 HSI in Tampa was notified that Mercado was in custody in Mexico and would be turning himself over to United States Customs and Border Protection to be processed into custody in the United States. Mercado is currently in jail in Brownsville, Texas. He will be extradited back to Hillsborough County.

    "Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is pleased to be able to leverage our vast international presence to assist our state and local partners. As a result of the vigilance of HSI special agents and our partners at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, a suspected murderer will now face justice," said Susan L. McCormick special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "Our community is a safer place through the collaborative efforts of HSI, HCSO, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and our international partners."

    News Release 10-290:

    October 5, 2010 at 6:11 p.m. 12304 Glenshire Drive, Riverview, at approximately 6:11 p.m., deputies responded to a shooting at 12304 Glenshire Drive. When deputies arrived they discovered two victims (twin brothers) suffering from gunshot wounds. Gregorio Santana was deceased at the scene and Felix Santana was transported to Tampa General Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

    A few minutes later, deputies responded to the Fire Station located at Big Bend road and Summerfield Blvd. where a third victim had arrived. The victim suffered from lacerations which appear to have been caused by thrown beer bottles. The vehicle that the victim was driving was occupied by three other subjects who fled from the fire station on foot. One of the subjects was later identified by name as the suspect in the shooting of the two victims. Suspect is identified as Mario Mercado, DOB 9-29-89.

    Deputies were able to locate all of the occupants with the exception of the suspect. Investigation revealed that the victims, witnesses and the suspect became involved in a dispute earlier in the day at the Life Saver store located on Balm Riverview Road and Rhodine Road. The subjects left the store and then continued their dispute in front of the Glenshire address. During the dispute victim, Sanchez was struck with a bottle that was thrown at him by an unknown suspect, resulting in severe lacerations.

    According to witnesses, Mercado then produced a semi auto pistol and opened fire on victim's Gregorio and Felix Santana. The suspect and passengers then fled the scene to the area of the fire station.

    Homicide suspect: (Warrant issued)

    Mario Mercado, DOB 9-29-89
    12502 Elnora Drive
    Riverview
    Gang associate

    Charges:  Second Degree Murder and One Count Attempted Second Degree Murder
  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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