March 6, 2009
By Mariana Martinez
Even in this age of globalization, it is still rare that authorities from Mexico and the US work together in the search of binational justice; criminals have long known this and use it to cross country lines.
But a new program established by law enforcement on both sides of the California/Baja California border seeks to reverse that, and the results have been fast, so fast in fact they might be a model to follow all along the border.
The program was launched mid February by the Baja California State Prosecutors office, along with the US Marshals and the California Justice Department, working towards the common goal of catching criminals at large.
Baja California State Prosecutor Rommel Moreno Manjarez has been working on creating alliances with US agencies, from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to the US District Attorney and now with Marshals.
“Both US and Mexican citizens have made a mockery of our laws and seen this border as a niche of opportunity to evade justice” said Moreno, “that is why it is crucial to work together and understand the reality: criminals are moving far and wide across our borders in a state of binational impunity”.
Authorities then decided to publish the profiles of eleven fugitives that according to intelligence report are likely to be in the border area.
Dan Vázquez, sub-Marshal for the Southern District of California, explained collaboration has already lead to the arrest of at least 30 fugitives in the area in the past four years.
“But the goal is to intensify collaboration and actions, as well as the public’s involvement; these fugitives are often dangerous to any community they live in” he added.
Amongst those eleven chosen fugitives are six Mexicans wanted mainly for kidnapping and drug trafficking charges, while the other five are wanted in the US for homicide, rape and child molestation.
Among them are Frederick Cecil Mclean and Vincent Legrand Walters, featured also among the 15 Most Wanted list in the US Marshals national webpage. Authorities believe they are likely to be in Baja California.
Just 48 hours after the announcement of the new program, two wanted criminals are already in the hands of justice.
The first to be found was 44 year-old, Dennis Brian Gluck, US citizen found in Baja California, while on a passenger bus going to Ensenada.
Gluck, who at first said his name was Bill Wright, has a pending warrant issued in Carlsbad, for the murder of his parents. They were 90 and 77 years of age, when they where found dead in their home, due to severe head trauma.
After Mexican authorities made the arrest, they went through Mexican immigration and Gluck was immediately sent to the US to face his charges in Carlsbad court room.
Simultaneously, US Marshals captured Joshua Moses Morales in a Spring Valley street.
Morales is wanted for murder charges in Tijuana, after his two year old stepdaughter died of injuries and head trauma, under his care.
Morales took care of the 2 year-old often, until February 6th when he allegedly beat her unconscious and then fled from the Hospital after learning the child had died.
Moses Morales has a criminal history and was wanted for parole violation of his early release from jail.
He will now spend 6 months in a US jail before being extradited to Mexico to face the aggravated murder charges.
Proud of these rapid achievements, with the help of tips by the border communities, State Prosecutor for Baja California promised to keep publishing pictures of wanted criminals, and even suggested the creation of a “Most Wanted” show across the border.