Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Analysis Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

Americas

Caribbean 'drug lord' arrested after 10-year manhunt

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-18

An alleged drug kingpin known as the "Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean" was arrested Saturday by US federal agents in Puerto Rico after a decade-long manhunt.

AP - Federal authorities arrested a fugitive alleged drug kingpin Saturday after a decade-long chase through the Caribbean marked by his narrow escapes and public taunting that he paid off police to remain free.

Known as the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean, Jose Figueroa Agosto was caught wearing a wig while driving through a working-class Dominican neighborhood of San Juan. When he realized he was being followed, he tried to run on foot as he had last September in the Dominican Republic after a pursuing vice squad shot out a tire on his Jeep.

But this time U.S. Marshals, FBI, drug enforcement agents and Puerto Rican police caught up.

"We asked him his name, and he simply answered that we knew who he was," said Antonio Torres, who heads the U.S. Marshal Service’s fugitive task force in Puerto Rico.

"It is a tremendous arrest, definitely," U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told a news conference Saturday, where she was surrounded by other cheerful federal authorities.

Escobar, the Colombian drug lord of the 1980s, was an escaped convict who died in a shootout with police in 1993.

Figueroa, who was 45 in March, is suspected of shipping Colombian drugs to the U.S. mainland through Puerto Rico, where he escaped from prison in 1999 after presenting a forged release order. He had served only four years of a 209-year sentence for killing a man suspected of stealing a cocaine shipment.

He moved to the Dominican Republic a month later and was briefly detained during a 2001 drug investigation, but was let go because he was using an alias.

Though no one can say exactly how much cocaine he moved, the scale of Figueroa’s empire emerged following the botched September raid, which netted several cars, including an armored Mercedes Benz with $4.6 million in cash inside, and a laptop computer full of evidence.

With leads on several new aliases, police intensified the search. Six of his properties were confiscated -- among them a million-dollar apartment in the Dominican resort area of Puerto Plata and a ranch outside Santo Domingo with a small zoo.

A man claiming to be Figueroa called a popular Dominican radio show in December to say he got away after paying police $1 million. He called again in February and pledged $800,000 to anyone who would kill one of two top Dominican police officers.

U.S. and Dominican officials said the man probably was Figueroa.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder personally pledged full cooperation to capture the fugitive, who was wanted on a U.S. Marshals warrant for his prison escape and for filing a false passport application. He also was the target of a U.S. task force focusing on major drug suppliers to the U.S.

He is wanted in the Dominican Republic on kidnapping, money-laundering, drug-trafficking and murder charges.

Summoned by President Leonel Fernandez, Dominican officials met behind closed doors for more than two hours after Figeroa’s capture. They said they would announce on Sunday what actions they will take against him.

"This had been the Dominican state’s biggest challenge," Police Chief Rafael Guillermo Guzman said, referring to the hunt for Figueroa.

Wanted posters are plastered across Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, for Figueroa and his lover Sobeida Morel, the country’s second-most wanted fugitive, who was detained on money-laundering charges last year. She posted bail and vanished before the extent of her alleged involvement with Figueroa became clear.

Morel is still at large. Federal authorities said the investigation is ongoing and that more arrests could be announced.

"We know that the tentacles of Mr. Figueroa Agosto are long," said Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico.

Added Javier Pena, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Caribbean division: "We have a message for fugitives: Sooner or later you will be caught."
 

Date created : 2010-07-18

  • MEXICO

    Mexico cartel blamed for car bomb in escalating drug war

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French prosecutors seek 10-year sentence for Panama's Noriega

    Read more

  • JAMAICA

    Suspected drug lord captured by police

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)