(NEW YORK) — One of the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 most wanted fugitives has been captured in the Mexican beach town of Cancun after 24 years on the run.
Vincent Legrend Walters, 45, was apprehended early Friday morning and is being held on an extradition request.
Walters, who faces murder, drugs and weapons charges, hid in plain sight and reportedly boasted he was a wanted fugitive, according to the U.S. Marshals Office.
Walters used the alias Oscar Rivera and worked at Cancun International Airport, officials said.
Walters has been on the run since 1988 after he allegedly purchased $20,000 worth of chemicals from undercover agents to make methamphetamine and negotiated an additional $200,000 deal with them, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
When his associate became uncomfortable holding onto the finished methamphetamine, he gave it to a San Diego dealer who passed it on to the dealer’s friend, Jay Bareno.
When Walters tracked down the dealer and demanded the drugs be returned, he told him they were gone. Walters and his brother, Martin, allegedly kidnapped the dealer and his girlfriend, and offered the couple to Bareno in exchange for the drugs.
The men made the exchange, but the female hostage died, having gagged on a chemically saturated rag that authorities said “killed her almost instantaneously.”
Martin Walters was captured soon after the crimes and was convicted of kidnapping and murder. He is serving 25 years to life in prison.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN