This week’s recap from the FBI and also the addition of Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, wanted for the murder of a 69-year-old Colorado man who was dumped on the side of the road after being brutally beaten and stabbed, has been named to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading directly to the arrest of Rivera Gracias, who is a member of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang—MS-13—and is believed to be in El Salvador.
“Today we are asking for media and public assistance in bringing this dangerous fugitive to justice,” said James Yacone, special agent in charge of our Denver office.View poster
Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus, who leads the FBI’s violent crimes squad in Denver, noted, “MS-13 is one of the most violent gangs in the United States, and Rivera Gracias appears to have embraced that lifestyle.”
The fugitive, a Salvadoran national, is approximately 29 to 33 years old with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5’10” tall, weighs about 170 pounds, and has a variety of tattoos, including “MS-13” across his back, “LA” on his right forearm, and “Nena” on his left hand.
The murder he is charged with occurred in August 2011. The victim—a long-time family acquaintance of Rivera Gracias’ teenage girlfriend—was choked, beaten, and stabbed. His body was then dumped in the mountains outside of Denver, where it was later discovered by a bicyclist.
The investigation soon focused on Rivera Gracias and accomplices, including his girlfriend, explained Special Agent Russ Humphrey, a member of the FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, who worked the case. “The murder was vicious,” Humphrey said.
Rivera Gracias fled from Denver to Los Angeles and is now believed to be in his native El Salvador. Intelligence analysts with our MS-13 National Gang Task Force helped to positively identify Rivera Gracias, who also goes by the names Ernest Rivera and Edwin Rivera.
MS-13 National Gang Task Force
In 2004, the FBI formed the MS-13 National Gang Task Force to counteract the growth of the violent international street gang. The intelligence-driven task force combines the expertise, resources, and jurisdiction of federal agencies and focuses on maximizing the flow of information and intelligence, coordinating investigations nationally and internationally, and helping state and local law enforcement improve operations and prosecutions targeting MS-13.
Rivera Gracias has ties to other MS-13 gang members in Colorado, Los Angeles, and El Salvador, and may attempt to gain entry to the U.S. using fraudulent identification. He may also visit Mexico and Guatemala.
“Elevating Rivera Gracias to the Top Ten list sends a message,” said Special Agent Niedringhaus. “No matter where you are as a fugitive—in the U.S. or anywhere in the world—we are coming after you.”
He added, “The FBI has put significant resources into fighting MS-13, and our gang task force works closely with our international partners to gather intelligence to help dismantle this transnational group. I think our chances of catching Rivera Gracias are excellent, especially with the substantial reward being offered.”
We need your help: If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Rivera Gracias, please contact the FBI’s Denver Field Office at 303-629-7171 or your nearest law enforcement agency or U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip online.
Since its creation in 1950—63 years ago today—498 fugitives have been on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and 467 have been apprehended or located, 154 of them as a result of citizen cooperation.
FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending March 22, 2013
New York: Alleged al Qaeda Operative Charged for Terrorism Offenses Against Americans Overseas
Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, aka “Spin Ghul,” was charged with conspiracy to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan, conspiracy to bomb American diplomatic facilities in Nigeria, providing material support to al Qaeda, and related firearms and explosives counts. Full Story
San Diego/Mobile: $5 Million Rewards Offered for Two Fugitives on FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List
The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering the rewards for information on Jehad Serwan Mostafa and Omar Shafik Hammami, two members of the Somalia-based terrorist organization al Shabaab. Full Story
Honolulu: Defense Contractor Charged with Communicating Classified Information
Benjamin Pierce Bishop was arrested on charges of communicating classified national defense information to a Chinese citizen he is alleged to have been romantically involved with. Full Story
Newark: New York Man Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Hacking AT&T’s Servers
Andrew Auernheimer was sentenced for stealing e-mail addresses and other personal information belonging to approximately 120,000 Apple iPad users and disclosing that information to an Internet magazine. Full Story
San Juan: Four Police of Puerto Rico Officers Indicted on Federal Civil Rights, Obstruction of Justice, and Perjury Charges
The officers were charged in connection to the assault of two men in 2008 and the federal investigation that followed. Full Story
San Francisco: Former California Public Employee System CEO and Former Placement Agent Indicted for Conspiracy and Fraud
Alfred J. Villalobos and Federico R. Buenrostro Jr. allegedly conspired to create and transmit fraudulent documents in connection with a $3 billion investment by the California Public Employee Retirement System into funds managed by Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm based in New York City. Full Story
Los Angeles: Former Hedge Fund Manager Arrested in Italy After Being on Run for Five Years Indicted in $200 Million Scheme
Florian Wilhelm Jürgen Homm, a German national who managed a series of hedge funds based in the Cayman Islands, allegedly oversaw a stock manipulation scheme designed to “pump up” the reported returns of his hedge funds. Full Story
Detroit: Forty-Four Individuals Indicted in Health Care Fraud and Drug Distribution Scheme
The defendants were charged with a drug conspiracy involving prescription drug controlled substances such as Oxycontin, Opana, and Vicodin. Full Story
Little Rock/Dallas: Operation Crystal Clear Results in Charges Against 24 Defendants
The individuals were charged for their alleged involvement in the large-scale drug trafficking of methamphetamine in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas. Full Story
Boston: FBI Provides New Information Regarding the 1990 Isabella Steward Gardner Museum Art Heist
Information is being sought from those who possess or know the whereabouts of the 13 stolen works of art by publicizing new details about the case and continuing to highlight the $5 million reward for the return of the art. Full Story