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Fugitive on US most-wanted list is captured in Mexico

U.S. Marshals / AP

This photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Vincent Legrend Walters. The U.S. Marshals Service says Vincent Legrend Walters, one of its 15 most-wanted fugitives, has been caught in the Mexican resort city of Cancun.

MEXICO CITY -- The U.S. Marshals Service announced the capture of Vincent Legrend Walters, one of the law enforcement agency's 15 most wanted fugitives, in the resort city of Cancun.

Walters, 45, was wanted on kidnapping, murder and drug charges stemming from a 1988 San Diego, Calif., case.

The agency said Walters was apprehended Friday morning, then transported to Mexico City where he will await extradition to the United States.

Walters had been working at the Cancun International Airport under the assumed name Oscar Rivera, according to a statement released by the agency.

Walters is accused in the kidnapping and murder of Christina Reyes in September 1988, U.S. Marshals said in a statement obtained by NBC News. He was also indicted by a federal grand jury in 1989 on conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute crystal methamphetamine, carrying firearms during a drug trafficking crime and possession of unregistered firearms and explosives.

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Walters was snared by an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency operation in 1988 after allegedly purchasing $20,000 worth of chemicals to make methamphetamine and negotiating an additional $200,000 deal with the undercover agents, Marshals said.

They described events this way:

When one of his associates became paranoid holding onto the finished methamphetamine, Walters handed it off to a local drug dealer, who in turn gave it to his friend Jay Bareno. Wanting their drugs back, Walters tracked down the local dealer, who no longer had the drugs, and kidnapped him, along with his friend and his friend's girlfriend to trade them to Bareno for the drugs.

Bareno agreed to exchange the drugs for the hostages. After returning the drugs, two of the hostages were released, but Christina Reyes died when she was gagged with a chemically saturated rag that killed her almost instantaneously.

Martin Walters, Vincent's brother, was caught soon after the crime and has since been convicted of Reyes' kidnapping and murder, they said. He is serving 25 years to life in prison.

"Vincent Walters is accused of committing a number of crimes that landed him on our most wanted fugitive list," said David Harlow, Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Investigative Operations Division. "Thanks to the hard work of our Deputy U.S. Marshals, local law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement partners, we were able to bring Walters in to face the consequences for his laundry list of accused crimes."

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