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Tips from Public Lead to Arrest of FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Walter Yovany Gomez of Plainfield

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Walter Yovany Gomez Credits: FBI.gov
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FBI Newark/FBI Washington
Special Agent Michael Whitaker
(973) 792-3020
August 12, 2017

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Walter Yovany Gomez was arrested without incident on Friday, August 11, 2017, in Woodbridge, Virginia, as a result of a well-coordinated investigation and tips received from the public.

On the morning of May 8, 2011, Julio Matute was allegedly murdered by Walter Yovany Gomez and a co-conspirator. Both men were identified members of the Plainfield Locos Salvatrucha (PLS) gang, a New Jersey branch of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) transnational gang. Gomez and his co-conspirator allegedly struck Matute in the head with a baseball bat, sliced his throat, and stabbed him in the back 17 times with a screwdriver, allegedly because Matute was suspected of socializing with a rival gang. The co-conspirator was subsequently apprehended, charged, and found guilty for the Matute homicide.

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A federal arrest warrant was issued for Gomez in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, on September 19, 2013, after he was charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering. Gomez was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on April 12, 2017.

"The apprehension of Walter Yovany Gomez is a prime example of the close coordination between the vigilant public and the hard working men and women of law enforcement," stated Timothy Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division. "Gomez will now stand trial for his alleged involvement in a brutal murder which took a young man from his family."

The FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Fairfax County Police Department’s Gang Unit, and the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force coordinated the local search and arrest of Gomez, who will remain in custody pending extradition proceedings.

The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list was established in March of 1950. Since then, 514 fugitives have been placed on the list, and 482 (to include Gomez) have been apprehended or located; 161 of them as a result of citizen cooperation. Gomez was the 513th person to be placed on the list. Additional information concerning Gomez and the FBI’s list of “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives,” can be found at www.fbi.gov/wanted.

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