Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fugitive on the Run for 17 Years Stopped Dead In His Tracks



Suspect Captured And Will Finally Answer To Drug Charges

San Antonio, TX – Oscar Zapata, 54, was arrested this afternoon by members of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Lone Star Fugitive Task Force (LSFTF) in San Antonio, TX. An arrest warrant was issued pursuant to an investigation by the United States Pretrial Services Office (USPSO), where it is alleged that Zapata violated the conditions of his bond release.

On April 27, 1997, the arrest warrant was issued and an investigation was initiated to locate and apprehend Zapata. This afternoon, members of the LSFTF, through investigative efforts and extensive surveillance, determined that Zapata was residing at a house in the 100 block of Octavia Place, located on the south side of San Antonio. Task force officers conducted a brief surveillance, approached the house, and made contact with a resident at the house. While conducting a search of the house, task force officers did not locate Zapata. Task force officers then searched the neighborhood for the vehicle that Zapata was known to drive. Task force officers located Zapata washing the vehicle at a local carwash in the 2000 block of Probandt Street. Task force officers approached Zapata, identified themselves, explained there was a warrant for his arrest, and took him into custody without incident.

Zapata is currently being held in USMS custody.

On November 20, 1996, Zapata was formally indicted by a Grand Jury on 6 counts of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. A warrant for Zapata’s arrest was issued the same day. Zapata was arrested days later, but was subsequently released on bond, ordered to appear at all court proceedings and abide by all bond release conditions. In April 1997, Zapata allegedly violated the conditions of his bond release when he tested positive for continued use of cocaine and absconded from supervision. Soon after the warrant was issued for Zapata’s arrest, he fled to the Republic of Mexico to elude capture. Zapata later returned to San Antonio using the assumed name of Jesus Castillo.

Robert R. Almonte, United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas, stated, “Zapata was on the run for over 17 years, but the diligent work of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force stopped him dead in his tracks. Fugitives can run across the border, hideout for many years, and even change their name, but we won’t stop hunting until they’re captured.”

Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force:

    New Braunfels Police Department
    San Antonio Police Department
    San Antonio Independent School District Police Department
    Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
    Comal County Sheriff’s Office
    Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office
    Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
    Texas Office of The Attorney General
    Texas Department of Public Safety
    Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of the Inspector General
    Immigration & Customs Enforcement – Office of Detention & Removal
    U.S. Marshals Service

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