FBI seeks man charged in state, Texas

January 29, 2019 GMT

The FBI needs help to find an alleged member of a Mexican drug cartel wanted for several crimes including moving drugs in northern Indiana in 2015.

Juan Alberto Mendez, 46, was charged three years ago in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne with working to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 1 kilogram of heroin, at least 5 kilograms of cocaine and at least 100 kilograms of marijuana, according to an indictment handed down in 2015. The paperwork was unsealed this month.

Mendez, whom investigators said Monday is a known member of the Gulf Cartel, was also charged in Texas in May with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering and kidnapping resulting in death.

Federal warrants for Mendez’s arrest were issued in both states. A news release Monday by the FBI asks anyone with information to call the agency’s local office at 426-5331 or the San Antonio office at 956-984-6300.

“Mendez should be considered armed and dangerous, and a domestic and international flight risk,” said Chris Bavender, an FBI spokeswoman in Indianapolis.

Mendez is described as 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall with brown hair and weighing 189 to 250 pounds. Mendez is known to wear glasses and has scars on his abdomen, chin, head, right knee and right forearm.

An FBI wanted poster indicates he might be living in Reynosa, Mexico, a city of about 600,000 on the U.S. border south of Texas.

“But that doesn’t mean it won’t generate tips from our area,” Bavender said of the posting. “The posters work well in getting out all the relevant information in the most concise format. For example, a poster we put out in mid-December for a man wanted out of South Bend for defrauding elderly investors resulted in a tip leading to his arrest in Florida just a few weeks ago. And it puts a face to the name.”

Court documents charging Mendez do not include details about the alleged crimes. The Indiana indictment states he committed the crimes somewhere in the northern portion of the state between Sept. 17, 2014, and March 1, 2015.