Reputed California prison gang leader captured in Missouri

Reputed prison gang member
Albert “Spanky” Amaya was apprehended in Missouri after allegedly fleeing probation officials in San Bernardino County, authorities say.
(San Bernardino County Probation Department )

This post has been corrected. Please see the note below for details.

A reputed prison gang leader who is accused of cutting his GPS ankle device while on probation in San Bernardino County has been captured after fleeing to Missouri, authorities said Tuesday night.

Albert “Spanky” Amaya was validated by state corrections authorities as a crew chief for the Mexican Mafia prison gang, according to the San Bernardino County Probation Department.

Amays, 45, was convicted of extortion, his third felony conviction, and sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison in 2008. 


But under a voter-approved measure last year that allowed “three strikes” inmates to seek re-sentencing, Amaya was released in June to the supervision of the Probation Department, authorities said.

He was considered a high-risk offender and placed on GPS monitoring while authorities sought a court hearing to try to send him back to prison because of a previous gang-related conviction, according to Probation Department authorities. 

“He immediately cut off his GPS anklet and disappeared,” authorities said in a statement.

Investigators tracked Amaya to Sedalia, a rural town in Missouri, authorities said. He was arrested Friday night and is awaiting extradition to California, where he will face the possibility of being re-sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. 


[For the record Oct. 23, 3:37 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly attributed information regarding Amaya to the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office.]


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