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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
September 24, 2010 DUSM Kevin Labrador, Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, 956-237-1067;
USMS Office of Public Affairs, 202-307-9065
 
U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Captured
Joseph Allen Garcia Captured After Five Years on the Run, and Two Years on Most Wanted List
 

WASHINGTON – More than five years after he went on the run and nearly two years after being placed on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted list, Mexican authorities in Reynosa, Mexico, arrested murder suspect Joseph Allen Garcia today and expelled him to the United States.
The Policia Ministerial del Estado in Reynosa, PME (State Ministerial Police for the State of Tamaulipas) were investigating a crime in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, involving Garcia as a suspect. When the PME made contact with the suspect, they were able to identify him as Joseph Allen Garcia wanted in Laredo, Texas.

This information was passed along to law enforcement counterparts via USMS Mexican Investigative Liaison Deputies. After the PME confirmed Garcia’s identification, the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force and the Webb County (Texas) Sheriff’s Department worked to get Garcia back to the United States.

Mexican authorities turned Garcia over to the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force and the Webb County Sheriff’s Department in Hidalgo, Texas earlier this morning. Garcia is being held in the Hidalgo County Jail awaiting court proceedings.

Garcia is wanted in Texas on charges of murder, manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to appear. He is also wanted on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

In December 2003, Garcia and two associates allegedly traveled to a residence in Laredo, Texas, with the intent of provoking a fight with another group of young men. Upon arriving at the residence, Garcia reportedly pulled out an AK-47 assault rifle and opened fire into the group, killing 18-year-old Mario Gonzalez and wounding three others. Authorities arrested Garcia the day after the murder, but he was out on bond within weeks.

Garcia was into trouble again by August 2004, when he allegedly shot and wounded a young man after an argument over stereo speakers. Garcia was arrested for attempted murder and again posted bond. He was later indicted for murder when the young man died from his wounds. Four months later in December 2004, authorities arrested Garcia for possession of drugs. He posted bond and apparently decided to try life on the run. Garcia was scheduled to appear in court in March 2005, but he was a no-show and authorities have been looking for him ever since.
In January 2006, the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff’s Department contacted the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force – Laredo Division for assistance in locating and apprehending Garcia. He was classified as a U.S. Marshals Major Case until being upgraded to the 15 Most Wanted in November 2008.

“The U.S. Marshals used all of our available resources to capture this violent criminal. With the help of our state, local and international law enforcement partners, we are able to scratch Garcia off our list,” said Director John F. Clark of the U.S. Marshals Service. “Garcia displayed a propensity for violence and continued to live a life of crime. Capturing him was one of our highest priorities.”

Authorities suspect Garcia is a member of the Zetas, the enforcers for the Mexican Gulf Cartel.  Garcia also was known to be associated with the Mexican mafia and was believed to be involved in the drug trade. Authorities suspected he was likely living in Mexico and making frequent crossings into California and Texas.
 

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The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.  For more information on U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitives and major cases, go to www.usmarshals.gov.