Luis Saenz, an alleged drug cartel hit man in Guadalajara on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List, was “living a relatively normal life when he was arrested last week in Mexico.” Saenz is connected with four murders in California from 1998-2008. When Saenz was taken into custody, the FBI stated that he identified himself as “Giovanni Torres.” Giovanni Torres is one of 21 different aliases that the FBI believes Saenz has used. To disguise his true identity, Saenz put on weight and underwent procedures to remove tattoos and even went as far as trying to change his fingerprints. Saenz is accused of three murders alleged to have taken place in Los Angeles in 1998, including the killings of two alleged rival gang members, and the “kidnap, rape and slaying of his estranged girlfriend two weeks later.” It is alleged that Saenz killed his girlfriend because Saenz believed she was going to inform the police about the gang slayings. In 2009, he was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List after his alleged involvement with another homicide in Whittier, California in the year 2008. That particular murder was believed to have occurred as a result of a drug debt. The FBI consider Saenz highly dangerous because of his reported statements indicating plans “to kill a police officer upon his arrest.” FBI agent Scott Garriola stated that “we were dogged in our determination to find him, but when you have that many aliases and you have that much money and connections and you move around that much, it makes it a little more difficult.” On Friday he was flown to Los Angeles where he told reporters that “he was not guilty for life.”
“On foreign soil, FBI special agents generally do not have authority to make arrests except in certain cases where, with the consent of the host country, Congress has granted the FBI extraterritorial jurisdiction.” (FBI.GOV) . Although they were able to apprehend this fugitive in this particular case, in November of 2011, U.S Attorney General Holder acknowledged “unacceptable flaws in America’s system for apprehending international fugitives” (Chicago Tribune) and “that the federal government needs to coordinate more closely with state and local law enforcement agencies after suspects flee across U.S. borders.” (Chicago Tribune). He further stated that the United States needs “to do a better job in interacting with our Mexican counterparts to capture those fugitives.”
With that being said, what do you think can be done to improve the FBI’s system for apprehending international fugitives and what can be done on an international level to improve extradition treaties to make the process of policing international criminals more effective?
Sources: NBC NEWS