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U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive Vincent Legrend Walters, age 45, has been captured in Cancun, Mexico, after nearly 24 years on the run.
Deputy U.S. Marshals in San Diego recently developed information which indicated that Walters was residing in Cancun, Mexico.
Further investigation revealed that Walters was using the alias of Oscar Rivera and working at the Cancun International Airport. Marshals Service investigators also learned that Walters had boasted to people that he was a fugitive from San Diego and wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Deputies in the Southern District of California continued to investigate the information and coordinated the international effort with the U.S. Marshals Service’s Mexico City Foreign Field Office. Working closely with Mexican law enforcement authorities, Walters was located and apprehended early this morning. He was taken into custody based upon the issuance of a Provisional Arrest Warrant which seeks his extradition to the United States.
“The U.S. Marshals are thrilled with the capture of this violent fugitive,” said Steven Stafford, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of California. “This is a prime example of the sheer determination and persistence we have when tracking down a wanted criminal.”
Walters will be transported to Mexico City where he will face extradition proceedings to bring him back to San Diego, where he will face murder and drug charges. He is wanted in San Diego for the kidnapping and murder of Kristine Reyes, who was killed in September 1988. Walters was also indicted by a federal grand jury in 1989 on conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute crystal methamphetamine, carrying firearms during a drug trafficking crime and possession of unregistered firearms and explosives.
Walters was snared by an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency operation in 1988 after allegedly purchasing $20,000 worth of chemicals to make methamphetamine and negotiating an additional $200,000 deal with the undercover agents. When one of his associates became paranoid holding onto the finished methamphetamine, he handed it off to a local drug dealer, who in turn gave it to his friend Jay Bareno.
Wanting their drugs back, Walters tracked down the local dealer, who no longer had the drugs, and kidnapped him, along with his friend and his friend’s girlfriend to trade them to Bareno for the drugs. Bareno agreed to exchange the drugs for the hostages. After returning the drugs, two of the hostages were released, but Christina Reyes died when she was gagged with a chemically saturated rag that killed her almost instantaneously.
Martin Walters, Vincent’s brother, was caught soon after the crime and has since been convicted of Reyes’ kidnapping and murder. He is serving 25 years to life in prison.
“Vincent Walters is accused of committing a number of crimes that landed him on our most wanted fugitive list,” said David Harlow, Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Investigative Operations Division. “Thanks to the hard work of our Deputy U.S. Marshals, local law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement partners, we were able to bring Walters in to face the consequences for his laundry list of accused crimes.”
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