Fugitive, suspected of murder in L.A., arrested in Mexico

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A Los Angeles gang member on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitive list who authorities say killed four people has been arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico, authorities said Friday.

Jose Luis Saenz, who is believed to have worked for a Mexican drug cartel, was arrested after a joint investigation by the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department and Mexican authorities, said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman.

Authorities believe that Saenz, a reputed gang member, shot and killed two gang rivals in Boyle Heights in 1998.

Days later, he allegedly kidnapped, raped and killed his girlfriend.


He is believed to have killed a fourth person in Los Angeles County in October 2008, according to the FBI.

Saenz, who is believed to be 36 or 37, was flown Friday under FBI escort from Guadalajara to Los Angeles International Airport, Eimiller said.

He is in LAPD custody and is expected to be arraigned next week on murder charges, Eimiller said.

Saenz has ‘been sought for some time,’ she said. ‘There’s a lot of determination that went into this capture.’

Saenz -- who was believed by the FBI to use the aliases ‘Zapp,’ ‘Toro’ and ‘Peanut Joe Smiley,’ among others -- was added to the 10 Most Wanted list in 2009.

Authorities ‘suspected that he had crossed the border to Mexico and back often,’ Eimiller said.


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