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Man sought in N.Y. slaying arrested in Elkview

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man wanted in connection with a gang-related homicide in New York was arrested Tuesday morning at a horse farm in Elkview where he worked.

Alberto Mareo, 24, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force at Fiesta Farm, according to a news release issued by Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeremy Honaker.

Mareo was living in the country illegally and is wanted in Kings County, N.Y., for questioning in a 2009 homicide. He also is facing potential federal immigration charges and New York City drug charges, according to the release.

Federal marshals and members of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency began conducting surveillance on the Elkview farm after receiving a tip from the New York City Police Department. He was arrested without incident at 10:30 a.m.

Mareo had obtained pieces of false identification, changed his name and appearance and covered a neck tattoo with another tattoo. He also goes by Mario Flores-Contreras, according to the release.

The farm owners did not know Mareo's true identity and are not facing charges.

Stephanie Lilly, who owns the farm with her sister, said federal marshals descended from the woods with guns before arresting Mareo. Lilly was working with show horses and was asked to help identify him, she said.

"We did not know him under that name," Lilly said. "I thought they were looking for somebody that might have escaped from prison or something. I just couldn't help them."

Lilly said the arrest provided some excitement to the normally quiet farm.

Mareo was being held Tuesday in South Central Regional Jail awaiting a hearing on extradition to New York.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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