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Joe Luis Saenz, detained by authorities in Mexico, faces charges in the US of murder, kidnapping and rape
Joe Luis Saenz, a reputed gang member, was taken into custody Thursday in Guadalajara following a joint operation with the Mexican government, said Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. Mexican officials expect extradition proceedings to begin in the coming days. Saenz returned to Los Angeles on Friday evening.
Investigators said Saenz shot and killed two rival gang members in July 1998, in retaliation for an assault on one of his associates. Saenz then suspected Sigrieta Hernandez, his girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, was going to tell police about the slayings, investigators said. He is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing her less than two weeks later.
Saenz also is believed to have killed Oscar Torres at his home in October 2008, because he failed to repay $600,000 in drug money after police seized the cash during a traffic stop. Authorities said they have videotape from a surveillance camera at Torres’ house that shows Saenz killing Torres and wounding another person.
Saenz, who is about 37 years old, was believed to be hiding in Mexico, working as an enforcer and hit man for a Mexican drug cartel. He has been on the FBI’s most-wanted list since 2009, alongside Osama bin Laden and other notorious criminals. A reward of up to $100,000 was offered for information leading to his arrest.