Alleged cartel member wanted in Indiana, Texas captured in Mexico


Juan Alberto Mendez

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HOUSTON, Texas– The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says an alleged cartel member with ties to Indiana has been captured.

Juan Alberto Mendez, 46, faces federal charges for racketeering, murder, kidnapping and drug dealing in Texas and Indiana. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says he’s a known member of the Gulf Cartel and he was wanted for his involvement in cartel activity between 2015 and 2018.

The FBI was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

A warrant for his arrest was issued in Texas on May 11, 2018. He also had an outstanding warrant from Fort Wayne issued on Sept. 23, 2015. The Indiana warrant is for conspiracy to distribute and possess heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Federal authorities were concerned about Mendez being a flight risk and said he might be out of the country. That turned out to be true, as officials say he was captured in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Mendez made his initial court appearance in Houston, Texas on Aug. 5.

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