Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Top Ten Fugitive Destinations

Mexico

Andrew Luster
Andrew Luster

The time-honored choice for the malefactor on the move, Mexico sees an influx of countless criminals into its territory each year. In a highly publicized June 2003 tussle, Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster was captured in Puerto Vallarta, where he was living under the name David Carrera, by Dog the Bounty Hunter and his crew, after having fled the country during his trial for rape.

In March 2009, Rodolfo Gallegos was returned to the United States to face a murder charge for the alleged shooting of a 16-year-old boy he thought was a rival gang member. Gallegos, now 34, was 16 at the time of the killing, which took place in Van Nuys, Calif., in 1991.

Also recently captured south of the border was former Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean, accused of the 2007 killing of pregnant Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, whose burned body was found buried in Laurean's North Carolina backyard. After tips led to his capture in April 2008, Laurean was extradited to Florida, where he faces life in prison.

Cesar Laurean
Cesar Laurean

PROS: Mexico won't extradite anyone back to the U.S. until the prosecutors here vow that they will not seek the death penalty.

CONS: U.S. Marshals are well versed in retrieving perps who made off to Mexico — in 2007 they returned 108 fugitives back to the United States, and in January 2008 Marshals managed to capture two of their 15 Most Wanted in one month — David Sauceda, wanted for murder, and Craig Petties, a Memphis drug kingpin.

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