Federal law enforcement officials on Thursday announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation added a new name to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list although they and the news media failed to mention that the suspect added to the FBI's "rogues gallery" is also an illegal alien.
According to the FBI, Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias is wanted for the heinous murder of a 69-year-old Colorado man. The victim's lifeless body was discovered on the side of the road after being brutally beaten and then repeatedly stabbed by the suspect.
The Department of Justice is offering a reward of up to $100,000.00 for "information leading directly to the arrest of Rivera Gracias, who is a member of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang, a/k/a/ MS-13, and whom federal agents believe fled to El Salvador, the nation in which MS-13 originated.
“Today we are asking for media and public assistance in bringing this dangerous fugitive to justice,” James Yacone, special agent in charge of the FBI Denver office, stated.
"Agent Yacone, I'm certain, is following established FBI protocol to exclude mentioning suspects' immigration status in the same way they are prohibited from using certain words when describing Islamic terrorists. But the fact that an illegal alien was allowed into the country and allowed to freely roam Colorado is an important part of the victim's suffering and death," said former NYPD detective Iris Aquino, who now works as a federal court officer.
According to the FBI's list, six of the 10 fugitives are from Latin American nations and one suspect is from Moscow, Russia.
The leader of the FBI's violent crimes squad in Denver, Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus, noted, “MS-13 is one of the most violent gangs in the United States, and Rivera Gracias appears to have embraced that lifestyle.”
The FBI describes Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias as a Salvadoran national, who 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.
He is wanted for a murder he allegedly committed in August 2011. The victim, Richard Limon of Denver, who is described as being 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 the FBI's MS-13 National Gang Task Force helped to positively identify Rivera Gracias, who also goes by the names Ernest Rivera and Edwin Rivera.
Rivera Gracias has ties to other MS-13 gang members in Colorado, Los Angeles, and El Salvador, and may attempt to gain entry into the U.S. using fraudulent identification.
He may also at times visit Mexico and other Central American countries.
“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.”