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For Immediate Release

September 20, 2010 Frank Conroy, District of South Carolina (843) 727-4255
Alleged South Carolina Child Rapist "Bus"-ted by U.S. Marshals in Texas
Charleston, SC - Santurnino Mendez, 30, was apprehended without incident last night, at approximately 9:00 p.m., by U.S. Marshals at a Greyhound Bus Station in Austin, Texas. Mendez, who is also known as Santurnino Trinidad, is charged by the North Charleston Police Department with sexually assaulting two minor children, approximately aged 4 and 5.

The Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force, headed by the U.S. Marshals in South Carolina, working alongside North Charleston Police Department investigators, were able to ascertain that Mendez had fled the Charleston area to Texas. Investigators alerted their counterparts in Austin, the U.S. Marshal led Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, who initiated surveillance early Wednesday morning, to look for a late model red Ford work truck that frequently traveled the area near East Koenig Lane. Ultimately, their patience paid off when officers observed the truck in the evening hours, verified the identity of Mendez, and placed him into custody. Mendez will be awaiting extradition back to Charleston.

“Mr. Mendez thought that by leaving South Carolina he could escape the U.S. Marshals and elude the charges he will now return to face. The U.S. Marshal led Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force here in South Carolina, working with their partnered agencies, work continually until they bring a fugitive to justice. My pledge has always been to apprehend those who prey on our community and I will continue to do so.” stated Kelvin Washington, United States Marshal for the District of South Carolina.

Established in 1789, the United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. In fiscal 2009, the Marshals arrested more than 36,400 federal fugitives, clearing 39,400 felony warrants.  Marshal’s Service-led task forces like South Carolina’s Operation Intercept arrested 90,800 state and local fugitives, clearing 117,000 felony warrants. Locally, Operation Intercept arrested over 2,500 South Carolina fugitives during that same period. More information about the Marshals and other South Carolina fugitives can be found on the web at