San Diego

U.S. Marshals Arrest Federal Fugitive 24 Years Later

Mario Huerta, 26 at the time of his escape, eluded capture for nearly 24 years in Mexico

After fleeing the authorities for decades, an escaped federal prisoner was caught and arrested Tuesday, announced the U.S. Marshals Service.

The San Diego Fugitive Task Force worked with Mexican law enforcement to capture Mario Huerta, 26 at the time of his escape. He broke out of La Tuna Federal Prison in Texas on Nov. 26, 1993, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Huerta had served six months of his 120-month sentence in Texas for cocaine possession before his escape, said U.S. Marshals officials. As he fled, Huerta crossed the border into Mexico and eluded capture for nearly 24 years.

U.S. Marshals service officials said his 'luck finally ran out' when they discovered new information that led to his arrest. On Tuesday evening, Huerta was deported from Mexico to the San Ysidro Port of Entry and was taken into U.S. Marshals' custody.

Huerta will be transported to the state of Texas soon. U.S. Marshals officials explained he will face further charges for escaping prison, which will add to his original sentence.

“The U.S. Marshals take pride in never giving up on a fugitive investigation, no matter how old," said Steve Jurman, commander of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force, in a statement. "I hope that other fugitives take note, and sleep a little lighter tonight.”

Sixteen federal, state and local agencies comprise the San Diego Fugitive Task Force. It is part of a network of U.S. Marshals Task Forces across the country, according to the U.S. Marshals. 

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