Southwest States Violent Crime

Fugitive Gregorio Zavala Wanted for 1994 Murder Arrested by Mexican Police and Returned to U.S.

Gregorio Zavala Arrested by Mexican Police
Fugitive Gregorio Zavala Wanted for 1994 Murder Arrested by Mexican Police and Returned to U.S.

Murder suspect Gregorio Zavala in a two-decade-old Las Cruces cold case was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the U.S., officials said.

Zavala, 43, had been wanted since Jan. 7, 1994, in connection with the killing of 21-year-old Ricardo Soria during a house party in the 800 block of Arizona Street in Las Cruces, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Soria was attempting to break up a fight at the party when Zavala allegedly shot him at point-blank range, resulting in Soria’s death.

Zavala was 19 years old at the time of the fatal shooting. He had been on the run for more than 24 years.

After law enforcement officials were unable to find Zavala, the FBI filed federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution against him in 1995.

Mexican law enforcement officials arrested Zavala on Wednesday in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, FBI Albuquerque Division officials said.

He was extradited to El Paso with an initial hearing scheduled Friday at the Albert Armendariz Sr. U.S. Federal Courthouse in Downtown.

A detention hearing is set for Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert F. Castañeda.

FBI officials said Zavala “eventually will be turned over to local authorities” to face a first-degree murder charge in Las Cruces.

In 2016, New Mexico Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office officials released an age-progression composite sketch of Zavala of what he would look like since the killing took place.

Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Francisco Bay area police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, We can also be found on social media such as InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.

Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.

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