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Salvadoran murder suspect on FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted list is in custody

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 7:11 PM EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, a recent addition to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list was arrested, the FBI said Wednesday.
Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias, a recent addition to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list was arrested, the FBI said Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The FBI says the man is a member of the MS-13 gang
  • Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias is accused of killed a 69-year-old Colorado man
  • Rivera Gracias was added to the FBI's Top 10 list on March 14

Washington (CNN) -- A Salvadoran national recently added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list for allegedly committing a 2011 murder in Colorado is under arrest, the FBI announced Wednesday.

Edwin Ernesto Rivera Gracias was in El Salvador and after voluntarily agreeing to return to the United States to face charges he was flown to Denver on Wednesday, according to the FBI. He surrendered to Salvadoran authorities and FBI agents on Tuesday, said FBI spokesman Dave Joly.

Rivera Gracias is accused of killing Richard Limon, 69, in August 2011. Law enforcement officials alleged that Rivera Gracias choked, beat and stabbed the man and then dumped his body in the mountains outside of Denver. According to the FBI, Limon was a long-tme family acquaintance of Rivera Gracias' teenage girlfriend.

Rivera Gracias was in the United States allegedly illegally at the time of the Limon murder. The FBI described the suspect as between the age of 29 and 33 and said he was a member of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 gang. He is said to have a number of tattoos including one of "MS-13" across his back.

MS-13 originated in Los Angeles 20 years ago among Salvadoran immigrants fleeing the country's civil war. The government says it has now grown to about 10,000 members in the United States.

In October, the Obama administration named the organization a transnational criminal enterprise, with the goal of freezing millions of dollars in profits from drug and sex trafficking operations.

Rivera Gracias was added to the FBI's Top 10 list on March 14 and at that time law enforcement officials said they believed he had fled to his native country. The FBI announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.

It's unclear if anyone will be receiving that reward money for tips provided in the case. In Wednesday's announcement the FBI said "further reward information will not be made public."

The FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list was launched in 1950. The program seeks to publicize terrible crimes and get tips that lead to arrests. Rivera Gracias was the 498th person to make the roster.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was on the list until he was killed in Pakistan during a May 2011 raid by U.S. forces. Alleged Boston mob figure James "Whitey" Bulger spent more than a decade on the list and ultimately was captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, California.

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