FBI Denver
Public Affairs Specialist Vikki Migoya
August 5, 2020

Colorado Fugitive Luis Archuleta Wanted for Decades Apprehended

Luis Archuleta, (aka Larry Pusateri), a former Colorado resident wanted by the FBI since 1977 on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution/confinement, has been apprehended and is being returned to Colorado following his arrest in Española, New Mexico, on August 5, 2020.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Archuleta in 1977 on charges stemming from his escape from a Colorado Department of Corrections facility in 1974. At the time of his escape Archuleta was serving a prison sentence resulting from his 1973 conviction for assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon, which was prosecuted by the Denver District Attorney’s office. This warrant remained active until 2018.

On June 30, 2020, a new federal arrest warrant was re-issued for Archuleta by the United States District Court, District of Colorado, for the charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution/confinement and his associated escape from a Colorado Department of Corrections facility.

Archuleta, now 77 years old, had been residing in Española, New Mexico, for approximately four decades under the alias Ramon Montoya.

“This arrest should send a clear signal to violent offenders everywhere: The FBI will find you, no matter how long it takes or how far you run, and we will bring you to justice,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “I want to thank the Española Police Department for working closely with the FBI Denver and Albuquerque Divisions on this investigation and getting this dangerous fugitive off the streets.”

“This is yet another great example of how the partnership between federal and local law enforcement enhances public safety and helps ensure justice is served. We are grateful to the FBI and Española Police Department for their work in getting Mr. Archuleta back to Colorado so he can be held responsible for his crimes, said U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado Jason R. Dunn.”

“In March of 1973, a Denver jury found Mr. Archuleta guilty of shooting a Denver Police officer in the 4400 block of Mariposa Street,” said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann. “Thanks to the excellent collaboration and tenacity of federal and local law enforcement agencies, Mr. Archuleta will at long last be held accountable for his actions.”

“We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners who helped bring Mr. Archuleta back to Colorado to serve his sentence for this serious crime,” said Dean Williams, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Corrections. “We hope that this arrest will help bring some peace to the victim in this case.’

‘The Denver Police Department is grateful to our law enforcement partners for their tireless commitment to bring this suspect to justice. Many members of our community were hurt by Luis Archuleta’s actions. The passing of time does not erase or excuse his crimes,” said Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.