- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) - A man who spent five years fighting his deportation to El Salvador to face murder conspiracy charges has died in U.S. federal custody in Southern California.

Immigration officials say 44-year-old Raul Morales-Ramos died at a Palmdale hospital on Monday, only days after he was taken there and diagnosed with intestinal cancer.

Morales had been in custody since February 2010, when he was arrested on a Salvadoran warrant charging him with conspiracy to commit aggravated homicide.

Authorities contend that Morales hired two former Los Angeles-area gang members to kill one of his stepchildren in El Salvador in a dispute over an insurance settlement.

Morales was ordered deported to his native country in 2010 but had filed numerous appeals.

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