ANTIOCH -- A Mexican national wanted for allegedly killing a man who tried to pay off a debt with a "Star Wars" action-figure collection has been captured while working at an Antioch hotel, federal officials said Tuesday.

Pablo Christian Larumbe Rojas, 34, was wanted for the slaying of Carlos Palomares Maldonado, who was killed in Mexico City in September 2010, authorities said.

Maldonado purportedly owed Rojas' criminal associates $3,000, so he offered his "extensive collection" of Star Wars action figures to cover the debt, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He showed up at Rojas' house with the memorabilia -- said to be worth more than the debt itself -- on Sept. 22, 2010, and was never seen alive again.

Pablo Christian Larumbe Rojas (Courtesy ICE)
Pablo Christian Larumbe Rojas (Courtesy ICE)

His body was found days later when authorities arrested several men, who implicated Rojas in the kidnapping and killing, according to ICE.

Nearly four years later, on Feb. 14, federal authorities got a tip that Rojas was using an alias and working as a night auditor at an Antioch hotel. He was arrested a short time later.

Authorities believe he entered the U.S. in September 2011 on a visitor's visa. Last week, he was sent back to Mexico after an immigration judge ordered his deportation on June 4, officials said.

"The so-called 'force' was definitely not with (him) during his capture and subsequent removal to Mexico," Timothy Aitken, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Francisco, said in a prepared statement.


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David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.