FBI Announces Arrest of Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Santiago Villalba Mederos
Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Raymond Duda of the Seattle Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that Santiago Villalba Mederos was arrested without incident in Tenancingo, Estado de Mexico, Mexico, on Friday, June 5, 2020.
Mederos, aka “Pucho,” was wanted for his alleged involvement in several crimes committed in Tacoma, Washington, in 2010. In February, Mederos allegedly fired multiple shots into a random car, killing a 20-year-old girl and seriously wounding her brother. During a fight in March, Mederos allegedly fired a single gunshot toward bystanders, striking and killing an innocent 21-year-old male victim. Both cases were investigated by the Tacoma Police Department.
Mederos was charged with multiple counts for both of these crimes in the Superior Court of Washington for Pierce County, Washington, and local arrest warrants were issued for him.
On September 30, 2016, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Mederos in the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Tacoma, Washington, after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Mederos was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on September 25, 2017.
“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 SAC Duda.
The FBI Seattle Field Office credits the FBI’s legal attaché office in Mexico City, Mexico, the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, the Secretaria de la Marina Armada (SEMAR), the Fiscalia General de Justicia del Estado de Mexico (FGJEM), the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Western District of Washington’s U.S. Attorney’s Office in coordinating the arrest of Mederos, who was deported to the United States, where he will be tried in Pierce County, Washington’s Superior Court.
The public is reminded that indictments contain only allegations of criminal misconduct and that defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list was established in March 1950. Since then, 523 fugitives have been placed on the list, and 489 (to include Mederos) have been apprehended or located, 162 of them as a result of citizen cooperation. Mederos was the 515th person to be placed on the list. Additional information concerning Mederos and the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list can be found at fbi.gov/wanted/topten.