An alleged gang member on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list suspected of killing two people was arrested in Mexico and brought to Los Angeles this evening to await trial.
Santiago “Pucho” Villalba Mederos was arrested Friday, his 29th birthday, in Tenancingo, Mexico, near Mexico City, according to the FBI.
Mederos, a member of the Eastside Lokotes Sureno gang, was wanted for allegedly killing two people in Tacoma, Washington.
In February 2010, Mederos allegedly fired multiple shots into a random car killing a 20-year-old woman and wounding her brother, the FBI said.
The next month, he allegedly fired a single shot toward bystanders, which killed a 21-year-old man, according to the FBI.
The cases were investigated by the Tacoma Police Department, and in September 2016, a federal arrest warrant was issued after he fled to avoid prosecution, according to the FBI. On Sept. 25, 2017, he was placed on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list.
“This arrest is result of good old-fashioned detective work and a great collaborative effort with our federal and international partners. Hopefully the families of Mederos’ victims will finally see a resolution for these senseless acts,” said Raymond P. Duda, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office.
Mederos was flown to Los Angeles Friday evening, and he was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday to face a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Mederos will be tried for the fatal shootings in Pierce County (Washington) Superior Court.
Five hundred and twenty-three suspects have been on the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list since it was created in 1950, and 489 have been apprehended or located, according to the FBI. Mederos was the 515th person to be placed on the list.
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