March 15th, 2007 02:55 EST
FBI's 10 Most Wanted, L.A. Gang Member Added to List
Please be on the lookout for Emigdio Preciado Jr., particularly if you live in Mexico, where he is believed to be residing. The fugitive gang member is the latest addition to our Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Preciado, who also goes by the names “Spooky” and “Snyper,” has a horizontal scar on his left ear, a black mole under his right eye, and tattoos of the words “Susana” and “Alexa” on his left chest.
Preciado, 37, is a known member of the South Side Whittier gang, which operates in the Whittier community outside L.A. On September 5, 2000, Preciado was in a van with three other gang members en route to ambush a rival gang in a drive-by shooting. Noticing the van had faulty headlights, two Sherrif’s deputies, Michael Schaap and David Timberlake, stopped the van. Immediately, they were met by automatic gunfire from an open door in the van. Schaap was shot in the head and seriously injured.
Investigators found 21 shell casings at the scene but never recovered the weapon. Three of the van’s occupants were captured, one in Mexico and two in South Whittier. During the investigation, Preciado was identified as the alleged shooter.
J. Stephen Tidwell, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in L.A., and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca announced Preciado’s addition to the Top Ten list at a joint press conference Wednesday in L.A.
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Preciado replaces John W. Parsons on the fugitives list. He was wanted for killing a police officer and then breaking out of jail, and was captured in October after less than three weeks on the list.
Investigators believe Preciado is traveling and residing in Mexico, where his family has roots. With his addition to the Top Ten list, information leading directly to Preciado’s arrest could be worth a reward up to $100,000.
Since the list’s inception exactly 57 years ago, March 14, 1950, all but 30 of the 485 Top Tenners have been apprehended or located. Here are some other facts about the program:
- Nearly a third of the fugitives—148 in all—have been captured or located as a result of citizen cooperation.
- The shortest amount of time spent on the list was two hours, by Billy Austin Bryant in 1969.
- The oldest person to be placed on the list is James “Whitey” Bulger, 69, who was added in 1999 and remains on the list today.
Preciado is the 20th fugitive to be added to the list from the L.A. field office, which currently has another fugitive, Richard Steve Goldberg, on the Top Ten list. Fugitives added to the list are determined by the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters from a slate of candidates submitted by the FBI’s 56 field offices, and are ultimately approved by the deputy director.