Drug fugitives from Chicago captured in Mexico

October 11, 2010 4:20:52 PM PDT
Nine years on the run has come to an end for a Chicago couple. The fugitives were finally found in Mexico and taken into custody on U.S. drug charges.

Federal authorities arrested Juan Carlos Duran and Dionne Garcia.

At first glance they appeared to be an ideal couple with a picture perfect Chicago family. But in 2001 when Juan Duran and Dionne Garcia were charged in as the leaders of a gang drug operation, their all-American bubble popped, and investigators say they left the country.

The FBI's "Operation Blue Water" targeted lucrative PCP labs run by Chicago's Ambrose Street gang on the Southwest Side and in Northwest Indiana.

The couple led the angel dust network according to federal agents, who put them atop the 51 people charged.

Juan Carlos Duran, nicknamed Psycho, evaded arrest in December 2001. His common law wife Dionne Garcia was arrested and charged with drug conspiracy, but was allowed out on home monitoring because she was eight months pregnant.

Neither Garcia or Duran was seen again. They left Chicago, according to the FBI, with their children in tow. For nine years, they were considered fugitives and were depicted on FBI wanted posters.

Federal agents received a tip that the couple had been seen just on the other side of the U.S-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico after the case was featured in a recent America's Most Wanted episode.

On Tuesday, members of a special police force located arrested Duran, now 34, and Garcia, who is 33. And they found that the pair actually had a fifth child while on the lam in Mexico. That child, considered a non-American, and their oldest, now 18, were left behind.

Duran and Garcia and their three other children were brought to San Diego where they stood before a judge in the federal courthouse. This time, there was no bond set for the couple.

The U.S. Marshal Service will return Duran and Garcia to Chicago where they will face those charges from nine years ago. The three children who were returned to the U.S. with them for now are being held by California child welfare authorities.


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