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Top Ten Fugitive Captured

Top Ten Fugitive Captured
Charged with Brutal Attack on Police

Emigdio Preciado Jr., one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, has been apprehended.

 

07/20/09

Emigdio Preciado, Jr., a career criminal and member of a violent California street gang who was on our Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for a brutal attack on police officers nine years ago, has been captured in Mexico. 

During a routine traffic stop in September 2000, Preciado stepped out of a van and opened fire on two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies with an assault rifle. Some 21 rounds were fired, one of them hitting a deputy in the head and critically injuring him.

“When a police officer is shot, our security is threatened,” said Sal Hernandez, assistant director in charge of our Los Angeles office, “and it illustrates a brazen attitude that is devoid of respect for the very people society relies upon for protection.” During a press conference today, Hernandez added, “This is why this case is so important, and why Preciado’s apprehension is so significant.”

Preciado—who is believed to be 39 years old and has used nicknames like  “Trigger” and “Snyper”—was captured last Friday evening in the hills near Yagos, a rural town in the Mexican state of Nayarit. He had been living there, using the name Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda and was working as a fisherman.

Although his identifying tattoos—the names “Susana” and “Alexa” on his chest—had been surgically removed, Mexican police and our agents present at the arrest conducted fingerprint comparisons and confirmed the fugitive’s true identity.

Hernandez said Preciado’s capture was the result of “flawless collaboration” between detectives from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, our agents, and members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force in Los Angeles—which includes the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Corrections—along with police in Mexico and agents assigned to the U.S. Embassy there.

Although he could not comment on specific details surrounding Preciado’s capture, Hernandez said that a reward of $150,000—advertised on our website—will be paid, and “the significance of the publicity in this case, and the reward offered, cannot be overstated.”

Preciado, a U.S. citizen, is currently in the custody of Mexican federal police and is expected to be transferred to Mexico City, where extradition proceedings will take place.

At the time of the shooting in 2000, Preciado was wanted on a California parole violation. He has an extensive criminal history, including arrests for murder, robbery, and narcotics offenses.

Attending today’s press conference were the two deputies—Michael Schaap and David Timberlake—who came under fire during Preciado’s attack. Timberlake was not hurt in the shooting, and Schaap, who was severely injured, has recovered and returned to duty.

A few facts about our Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program:

  • Launched on March 14, 1950;
  • 491 fugitives added to the list so far;
  • 461 captured (nearly 94 percent success rate);
  • Fourteen fugitives apprehended in Mexico, the most of any country outside the U.S.;
  • Nearly one third (151) located through citizen cooperation.

For a full list of the fugitives and missing persons we’re looking for, please visit our Wanted by the FBI webpage.

Resources:
- Press release