Ville Platte, LA – Early this morning at approximately
midnight the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) from Lafayette
with critical assistance from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and
Louisiana State Police arrested twenty-seven year old Vincente Mendoza. Mendoza
was Wanted by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina. Mendoza
allegedly killed Hope Bowers and Latonia Profit on or about March 17, 2012.
Following the homicide the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office gleamed that
Mendoza had fled the area and requested assistance from the US Marshals
Operation Intercept Task Force (OPIN) in Columbia, SC. The US Marshals in South
Carolina immediately adopted the case and began working with Orangeburg County.
During the early morning hours of March 20, 2012 one of the victim’s vehicles
was recovered in a rural area in Acadia Parish. Louisiana State Police processed
the vehicle and VOTF Lafayette became involved in the fugitive investigation.
From March 20th to today VOTF worked tirelessly with OPIN in South Carolina to
locate associates and develop leads as to Mendoza’s location. Finally, a
credible lead was developed suggesting that Mendoza was hiding in a trailer near
the 1200 block of Jean Pierre Road outside Ville Platte, Louisiana.
As the lead was “firmed up” VOTF contacted the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s
Office who provided vast resources and assistance. At approximately midnight
this morning Mendoza was arrested in the living area of the trailer. He was
sleeping on the couch and initially denied his identity, but after questioning
admitted to being Vincente Mendoza.
Henry Whitehorn, the US Marshal for the Western District of Louisiana, said,
“The coordinated effort of all law enforcement to bring dangerous criminals to
justice ensures that the streets and neighborhoods of Louisiana are a safer
place to raise our children.”
The Western District of Louisiana’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) in
Lafayette is a team comprised of full-time law enforcement officers from the
Lafayette City Marshals, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police
Department, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s
Office, and Louisiana Probation and Parole. Further, VOTF Lafayette calls upon
part-time TFO’s and partners throughout its eight parish area. In 2010 VOTF
Lafayette closed approximately 500 Warrants, most of which were violent felony
offenses. US Marshals Task Forces throughout the United States arrested more
than 118,100 fugitives on felony charges.
Additional information about the
U.S. Marshals Service can be found at
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency