A 77-year-old prison escapee who had been on the run for nearly half a century was captured this week in New Mexico, the FBI said.
Retired police officer Luis Archuleta was convicted of a bullet in the stomach in 1971 said on Thursday he was reunited with Archuleta after receiving telephone advice this summer.
“I revel in the fact that I got it,” former Denver cop Daril Cinquanta told NBC KUSA branch in Denver.
Cinquanta said he passed his advice on to the FBI. With help from Spain, New Mexico, police and a SWAT team, Archuleta was captured at his home on Wednesday. The station reported that Archuleta was living with a woman who was unaware of her criminal past.
“Mr. Archuleta will finally be held accountable for his actions,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a statement.
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Archuleta, also known as Larry Pusateri, was convicted in 1973 for shooting Cinquanta, according to the FBI. He escaped from a Colorado state jail the following year, the office said.
In 1977, he was named a federal fugitive.
Cinquanta retired from the force, but continued to hunt the fugitive as he established his private investigative cabinet, he said. This summer he received a key phone call.
“This person says, ‘I thought about it, and I’m going to say where is the guy who shot you,'” the former officer said. “Of course, I was skeptical. This person gives me his address his pseudonym and other facts. “
Cinquanta looked at the man and found he had been arrested for driving while intoxicated, he said. His rant seemed to match Archuleta’s appearance, and he started to think he had his man, he said.
The man’s tattoos matched those of the fugitive, Cinquanta told the Denver station.
“I would love to sit down and talk to him,” said the former officer.
On June 30, the U.S. District Court in Colorado reissued the federal arrest warrant for Archuleta, which expired in 2018, the FBI said in a statement.
He was again wanted “for illegal flight to avoid prosecution / forcible confinement and his associated escape from a Colorado Correctional Department facility,” the office said.
Archuleta lived in Española for four decades under the pseudonym Ramon Montoya, the FBI said. He was sent back to Colorado, the office said.
“We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners who helped bring Mr. Archuleta back to Colorado to serve his sentence for this serious crime,” said Dean Williams, executive director of the Colorado Corrections Department, in a statement. “We hope this arrest will help bring some peace to the victim in this case. “