FBI arrests alleged MS-13 member, one of its ’10 Most Wanted’ fugitives, in 2011 New Jersey murder
The FBI has arrested one of its “10 Most Wanted” fugitives, a man sought in the brutal MS-13 gang-related murder of a New Jersey man back in 2011.
The agency said that Walter Yovany Gomez was apprehended without incident in Virginia Friday evening, more than six years after his alleged involvement in a homicide in a Plainfield, New Jersey, home.
The FBI says that Gomez is a member of the MS-13 gang that has recently received new scrutiny after President Donald Trump vowed to crack down on the international group as part of his administration’s immigration policies, following more than a dozen gang-related murders on Long Island.
Gomez, a Honduran citizen with is in his late 20s or 30s and was in the U.S. illegally, is suspected in the death of Julio Matute in Plainfield in May 2011.
According to the FBI, Gomez and another man befriended Matute and spent an evening partying at his house before attacking him as he was preparing to leave for work the next morning. The victim was in the sights of MS-13 because he was believed to have socialized with a rival group, the 18th Street Gang, at a bar.
Gomez struck the victim in the head several times with an aluminum baseball bat, then slashed him in the throat with a knife and stabbed him 17 times in the back with a screwdriver, the FBI said. His wounds were so severe that authorities were only able to identify him because of his tattoos.
The FBI has said earlier that Gomez was trying to become a full-fledged member of the local branch of the transnational gang when the killing happened.
According to an FBI news release, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Gomez in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, in September 2013, after he was charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
Cruz Flores, who authorities say assisted Gomez in the brutal attack, has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Gomez was added to the most-wanted list in April of this year, and was the only figure to have played a role in Matute’s death who had not been prosecuted. MS-13 gang members are believed to have ferried Gomez to Maryland after the murder.
The FBI was offering a reward of up to $100,000 for his capture. It is not known if anybody will claim it, or how exactly Gomez was apprehended.