Related topics

Wanted Fugitive Arrested in Mexico

July 10, 2000

PHOENIX (AP) _ An accused drug ring leader sought in the 1994 killing of an undercover federal drug agent was arrested by Mexican authorities, officials said Monday.

Augustin Vasquez Mendoza, who has been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List for four years, was captured Sunday in Tehuacan in central Mexico. U.S. authorities, who had offered $2.2 million for his capture, have agreed to waive the death penalty as a term of his extradition.

Extradition could take up to a year, Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said.

He said informants who helped authorities capture the fugitive will split the $2.2 million.

Authorities said Vasquez Mendoza’s ring produced significant amounts of methamphetamine in Michoacan, Mexico, for import to the U.S. The ring specialized in robbing drug dealers and was also involved in murders, kidnapping, rapes and marijuana cultivation, authorities said.

In 1994, Vasquez Mendoza was implicated in the killing of undercover DEA Agent Richard Fass, who was shot in Arizona while buying methamphetamine from several alleged ring members, authorities said.

Two gunmen were arrested as they fled and a third accomplice was captured a few days later, but Vasquez Mendoza escaped.

The fugitive was indicted by a grand jury on charges including conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and attempted armed robbery.