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Emigdio Preciado, Jr.
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
Emigdio Preciado Jr.jpg
Emigdio Preciado, Jr.
Born: August 19, 1969 (1969-08-19) (age 40)
Charges: Unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Attempted murder of a police officer, Assault with a deadly weapon, Parole violation
Added: March 14, 2007
Caught: July 17, 2009
Number: 485

Emigdio Preciado, Jr. (born August 19, 1969 or August 19, 1968 or September 19, 1969[1]) is an American career criminal, gang member and a fugitive who was wanted for opening fire on two sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles, California on September 5, 2000, seriously injuring one of them. He is believed to have been heading to a gang-related drive-by shooting at the time.

After nine years on the lam, Preciado was captured in July 2009 and is currently in the custody of Mexican federal police.


Criminal career

Preciado has a documented history as a gang member in the South Side Whittier street gang, which operates outside of Los Angeles.[2]

Preciado is a career criminal who has been arrested for a 1992 murder, robbery, grand theft and receipt of stolen property. He has been convicted of narcotics and firearms violations. At the time of the shooting, he was on parole for a drug-related crime.[2]

Shooting of Michael Schaap

On September 5, 2000 Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Michael Schaap and his partner, David Timberlake, were on patrol when they saw a 1979 Chevrolet van traveling toward them. As the van approached, the deputies noticed the van's headlights were not functioning properly and proceeded to stop the driver of the vehicle.

When the van came to an abrupt stop, the deputies came under immediate attack from a burst of automatic gunfire. The gunman, one of four occupants traveling in the vehicle, appeared from an open door in the van and began shooting the deputies. Deputy Timberlake escaped without injury.

A bullet fragment from his assailant's AK-47 blasted into the bridge above Schaap's nose, ricocheted across his forehead and exited above his right eye. In hospital, doctors removed the remaining fragments of the bullet from Schaap's head, leaving a small wound, a horseshoe-shaped scar on his face and his left side partially paralyzed. Schaap had a long, painful recovery, which included intense therapy to re-learn cognitive skills.[2]

Emigdio Preciado, Jr. was later identified as the alleged shooter and he became a main suspect of the case.

In 2001, Schaap returned to work with an assignment to handle administrative duties and teach employment issues to his department. In an interview he expressed his wishes to justice and fair trial to Preciado if he would be captured.[3][4][5]


In December 2000, Preciado was spotted and videotaped dancing in a town holiday festival in Tepuzhuacan, Nayarit, Mexico. Billboards profiling Preciado were installed in Whittier. Preciado was seen again in 2006 in the Guadalajara, Mexico, and it was alleged that his family members or fellow gang members could have helped him evade authorities.[2] Preciado had surgically removed his distinctive tattoos in Mexico.[6]

This person is extremely dangerous. He's not afraid to shoot at law enforcement. He has total disregard for authority.

FBI special agent Scott Garriola, [2]

On March 14, 2007 he was named by the FBI as the 485th fugitive to be placed on the Ten Most Wanted list. He is also on the America's Most Wanted "Dirty Dozen" list of that show's most notorious fugitives.[7] The story of his crime has been reviewed several times on the show. There was a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his capture being offered, but it was increased to $150,000, FBI offering a $100,000 reward, with the Los Angeles County Supervisor's Office offering an additional $50,000.[3] The reward will be paid to the tipster who helped Preciado's capture.[6]


Preciado was captured in the hills near the rural town of Yagos in Mexico on July 17, 2009.[6][8][9] He had been living there, using the alias Regalo Castaneda-Castaneda and working as a fisherman.[6]

As of August 2009, he is in the custody of Mexican federal police and expected to be transferred to Mexico City, where extradition proceedings will take place.[6]


  1. ^ FBI Poster gives three birthdates.
  2. ^ a b c d e Underwood, Melissa (January 2, 2008). "Emigdio Preciado Wanted for Attempted Murder of Sheriff's Deputy". Fox News.,2933,319227,00.html. Retrieved July 27, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b "Billboard profiling Top Ten Fugitive Emigdio Preciado to be installed tomorrow on Imperial Blvd. in Whittier - reward offered". Federal Bureau of Investigation. October 18, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2009.  
  4. ^ "Reward for Los Angeles gang member on FBI's list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives increased to $200,000". Federal Bureau of Investigation. March 17, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2009.  
  5. ^ "FBI Top Ten Fugitive and Reputed Los Angeles Gang Member Apprehended in Mexico for 2000 Automatic Weapon Attack on Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies". Federal Bureau of Investigation. July 20, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009.  
  6. ^ a b c d e "FBI: Top 10 fugitive captured in Mexico". CNN. July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2009.  
  7. ^ "AMW Dirty Dozen". America's Most Wanted. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  
  8. ^ Glover, Scott (June 21, 2009). "Reputed gang member, wanted for attack on L.A. deputies, arrested in Mexico". Los Angeles Times.,0,4001154.story. Retrieved June 21, 2009.  
  9. ^ ""Most Wanted" Fugitive, Emigdio Preciado, Captured". KTLA. July 20, 2009.,0,5297155.story?track=rss. Retrieved July 21, 2009.  

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