Allegedly left victim’s burned, bullet-riddled body in West Mesa
Las Cruces, NM - The U.S. Marshals Service South West Investigative Fugitive Team (SWIFT) task force took custody of one of New Mexico’s most wanted fugitives, U.S. citizen Mario Jerardo Talavera, on Friday, March 13.
In 2011, Talavera was featured on Fox’s America’s Most Wanted in connection with the gruesome 2008 murder of Danny Baca, a 53-year-old Albuquerque resident. Talavera and two associates allegedly killed Baca over a drug deal gone wrong, and left his burned, bullet-riddled body in the West Mesa where it was found by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.
“After the crime, Talavera allegedly fled,” said Conrad Candelaria, U.S. Marshal of the District of New Mexico. “We joined the manhunt for him soon after.”
The fugitive investigation gained momentum when U.S. Marshals determined Talavera had fled to Mexico. Further investigation by U.S. Marshals and Mexican authorities revealed that Talavera was located in the city of Cuauhtémoc, where he was then arrested by Mexican authorities. Talavera was deported to the United States and booked into the Otero County Prison Facility in New Mexico. He is facing charges for federal drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping.
“The final chapter of justice denied has been written,” said Candelaria. “This dangerous and violent fugitive will now be held accountable for the gruesome and unconscionable acts of violence committed.
“The U.S. Marshals worked closely with the local district attorney, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and many other agencies in the law enforcement community both local and international to ensure justice was served.”