Los Angeles: The
Los Angeles Police Department announced the capture of its first Top-10
wanted gang member, 22-year-old Angel Zevallos. He was arrested in
Guatemala on February 21, and flown to Houston, Texas, the next day.
Zevallos has waived an extradition hearing in Houston, and detectives
from the Hollywood Police Station will pick up Zevallos on Thursday and
fly him back to Los Angeles.
"This capture was truly a team effort," said Los Angeles Police Chief
William Bratton. "It was impressive to see how quickly this all came
together. Interpol inspectors, deputy US marshals in the US embassy in
Guatemala, and LAPD detectives worked as if they were across the room,
rather than across a continent."
Chief Inspector Wilfredo Ramos, the Director of Interpol in Guatemala,
was tipped off to Zevallos' presence during an unrelated kidnapping
investigation. A local resident mentioned a suspicious, tattooed man
who had moved into the neighborhood in Guatemala City and was bragging
about a murder in Los Angeles. The informant discreetly supplied
Zevallos' name and two photographs taken with a cell phone.
Inspector Ramos verified the suspicious man was Zevallos, a Peruvian
national, who was in Guatemala illegally since December 2006.
Interopol contacted LAPD's Foreign Prosecution Liaison Unit (FPLU) and
discovered Zevallos was wanted for shooting a security guard at the
Buddha Bar in Hollywood on February 9, 2006. The guard had survived,
but has never fully recovered from the rifle shot.
Los Angeles detectives coordinated Zevallos' capture with Interpol and
the Regional Security Officer (RSO) at the US Embassy in Guatemala City
on February 19. The RSO is a deputy US Marshal who maintains close
contacts with LAPD.
Deputy US marshals escorted Zevallos on a flight from Guatemala to
Houston, Texas, on February 21, 2007. Special Agents from the US State
Department's Diplomatic Security Service also helped in Zevallos'
transfer from Guatemala to the USA.
Detectives believe Zevallos escaped to Guatemala by way of Las Vegas,
Nevada, after the Hollywood shooting. Detectives traced Zevallos to
Las Vegas and the local FBI office assisted in looking for him, but the
trail went cold until the call came from Interpol last week.
The replacement on the Top-10 Most Wanted gang member list will be announced on a separate news release.