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For Immediate Release

Contact:
April 04, 2012 Corey Britt, Deputy U.S. Marshal (337) 262-6792
South Carolina Fugitive Nabbed in Evangeline Parish

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 http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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