A convict who was on the lam for 24 years after escaping from a Texas prison was back behind bars Wednesday in San Diego following his arrest in Baja California.
Acting on information developed by the U.S. Marshals Service, Mexican police arrested Mario Huerta, 50, in Tijuana on Tuesday, USMS spokesman Ben Walker said.
Huerta was turned over to U.S. authorities at the San Ysidro Port of Entry later in the day. He will remain in a federal lockup facility in downtown San Diego pending transfer to Texas, where he will face an escape charge in addition to serving out the remainder of his original sentence, Walker said.
Huerta was six months into a 10-year custody term for cocaine possession in November 1993 when he disappeared from Federal Correctional Institution La Tuna, a minimum-security prison camp in El Paso County.
Based on comments made by the captured fugitive, officials think he had been living in Mexico since his escape, according to Walker.
Steve Jurman, commander of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force, said members of the marshals service “take pride in never giving up on a fugitive investigation, no matter how old.”
“I hope that other fugitives take note and sleep a little lighter tonight,” Jurman said.
— City News Service
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