So the fugitive, Mr. Cesar G. was in the Mexican state of Jalisco, in a pueblo just outside the state capital of Guadalajara. The next thing to figure out was whether this fugitive was extraditable or not based on the fugitive’s crime.
Mexico does allow extradition of fugitives accused of felonious crimes of violent nature, and Mr. Cesar G.’s charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (cal. penal code 245 (a) (1) ) qualified for extradition. It was now time to make some phone calls to contacts both North and South of the Mexican border.
We received green lights to go from all directions. It seemed that the pueblo of Tepatitlan, Jalisco Mexico wasn’t a real bad spot, and the we would most likely return with our heads and tongues intact. We also had several contacts within hours or less of this location, should we need any sort of assistance.
Remember when Dog the Bounty Hunter was arrested in Mexico for Bounty Hunting there? It is illegal to bounty hunt in Mexico. U.S. Bail Fugitive Recovery Agents, also known as Bounty hunters have no jurisdiction in Mexico. So we go there as tourist and work with local law enforcement in order to officially identify the fugitive, but NOT MAKE AN ARREST. The local Mexican official also does not make an arrest, instead it is an official detainment for identification purposes. Photographs and finger prints are taken of the fugitive, as well as signed affidavits testifying to his identification.
So one of our contacts called on Friday at 9 am and says that if we can be there by 6 am the next day Saturday, he would be willing to help. So just like that it was time to go! A Duffle bag of clothes, the paperwork needed and the next flight out to Guadalajara, Mexico. We should be in and out in no time. We arrive in Guadalajara, Mexico in the morning dawn hours, and it wasn’t long before we received a phone call telling us that our contact had now become unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances at his job. A small sense of “oh Sh%#t now what do we do?” did come over us but we didn’t panic. With the turbulent times in Mexico, our contact most likely figured he liked the placement of his head on his neck, so he had a change of heart and decided he wouldn’t help, but for us there was no turning back now; we were on our own in the heartland of Mexico!
We rented a vehicle at the airport since we now did not have a guide. All the legal driving you have learned in the U.S. goes out the window and it’s almost all out war while driving. Sometimes there are no lanes, potholes as big as cars, you don’t stop for any pedestrian, and you can turn from anywhere at anytime. In this city of 3 or 4 million people, I learned fast, real fast and managed to get us to a nice hotel in downtown Guadalajara without a scratch.
Once we were settled in our rooms, it was time to make phone calls both North and South of the border again. Luckily, it turned out one of our contacts in Mexico has a close friend who actually works in the small pueblo of Tepatitlan, Jalisco, and has some affiliation with the local law enforcement of that small pueblo. We were told to get over there as soon as we could and that we would be helped in any way possible. So through the old countryside we went, about an hour and a half drive through a few toll roads and past fields of beautiful Blue Agave (the main ingredient for excellent Tequila). We arrived around noon to the small colonial village that has been around since the 1530′s and immediately noticed that it was quite beautiful and well kept.
We immediately proceeded to locate our contact in Tepatitlan. We met up at his office and followed him to the local police station. As we were driving up I noticed that there was a uniformed police officer with an AR-15 and full body armor at the front door of the station. We parked and as we approached the front door were told that we had to knock on the side door of the police building since only law enforcement were allowed inside the building. Our local contact presented himself to the officer at the side door, and he proceeded to explain the nature of our visit. The heavy metal door slammed closed and 30 minutes later opened again, this time asking questions and asking for the documentation that would be filled out. The door slammed shut again and this time it was more than an hour before we were rebuffed. I produced copies of prior documents that had been filled out during another investigation in another state of Mexico, and I explained that I had been involved in that case as well and that this matter was documenting Mr. Cesar G.’s identification only and no arrest was to be made. So they took the copies back into the station and after another hour came back and said that since they were unfamiliar with such paperwork, the local commander would not authorize any of his officers to proceed with the identification. So now back to Guadalajara and the hotel to regroup and make some more phone calls. Before leaving the pueblo of Tepatitlan, we drove past the fugitives address, but did not get a glimpse of him. So close and yet so far, Saturday was not our day!
To Be Continued…..