Murder Suspect on FBI’s Most Wanted List Arrested
An accused murderer on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list was arrested in San Diego on Monday after a citizen recognized him from an FBI poster in a local post office and called the agency.
Brian Patrick Malverty, 26, wanted in connection with two apparently drug-related shootings in Georgia, was arrested at 7:50 a.m. Monday at an apartment on Regents Road. Malverty, using the alias Tom Louzzi, had been living in San Diego for several months and working as a self-employed carpet layer, FBI agents said.
Agents were alerted to Malverty’s presence on Friday and began surveillance of the apartment Sunday.
The FBI would not release the name of the person who recognized Malverty, but investigator Dan Morris said Malverty made no attempt to change his appearance from the 1984 photograph used on the FBI poster.
“He looked exactly the same as the photo,” Morris said. “Somebody observant enough to have noticed the poster, and who had seen him, would realize it was the same man.”
A federal warrant was issued for Malverty on April 29, 1985, charging him with unlawful interstate flight to avoid prosecution for murder. Georgia authorities said Malverty was last spotted in New York and may have been seen in Florida before coming to San Diego.
Malverty is wanted in connection with the slayings of Gene West, 47, and Ricky Lee Sims, 17, in West’s Atlanta home on April 23, 1985. The two men were robbed, and then bound and gagged before being shot in the head, chest and back. The house and the bodies were doused with gasoline and set on fire, authorities said.
Malverty was placed on the FBI’s top 10 list on March 28 because of the especially brutal nature of the crimes and his previous criminal record, said Gary L. Penrith, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Diego office. Malverty was arrested several times in New York, New Jersey and Georgia for aggravated assault, including on a police officer.
Penrith said authorities believe the Georgia killings may have been drug-related. “The murders were probably drug-related, but we’re not sure. They are more than murders related to robbery. They are double murders, almost gangland style, and given their serious nature and his past record, it was decided in Washington that he should be on the top 10 list,” he said.
An alleged accomplice, Anthony Scott Willingham, was arrested in Atlanta in October, said Lt. E.E. Nixon of the Fulton County, Ga., Police Department. Another alleged accomplice, Tony Albertson, was found shot to death in Queens, N.Y., several weeks after the Georgia slayings, Nixon said. Both men were described as in their late teens or early 20s.
Malverty was arraigned Monday and is being held in federal custody pending extradition to Georgia, authorities said.
Malverty is the second fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted list to be arrested this year. The first, Mutulu Shakur, suspected of terrorist activity, was arrested in Los Angeles in February.
Malverty was the 398th person to be placed on the Most Wanted list, a program the FBI began in 1950 to appeal to the news media and citizens in the apprehension of dangerous criminals, FBI investigator Morris said. Of 372 apprehensions since then, 111, including Malverty, have been a result of tips from citizens, he said.