Real Name: Agustin Vasquez Mendoza
Wanted For: Drug-Trafficking, Murder
Missing Since: June 30, 1994
Details: Agustin Mendoza was at the center of a Phoeniz, Arizona drug operation which DEA agent Richard Fass was investigating. Fass was working undercover to arrest Mendoza wnen things went awry. On June 30, 1994, after more than eight years of undercover work, Fass was leaving the streets, and was being promoted to an administrative position. His colleagues had a special luncheon to congratulate him and say goodbye. After the luncheon ended at 2pm, Richard and his partner, Agent Michael Pelonero, went to an automotive repair shop in Phoenix for one final undercover assignment. They posed as drug buyers and were carrying $160,000 in cash for a deal that Richard had set up the day earlier with Agustin Vasquez-Mendoza, or "Fernando" who agreed to sell him 22 pounds of meth. Pelonero stayed behind while Fass went into the garage where he met an informant along with Juan Vasquez, an associate of Fernando's. Fernando, however, was not there. In the back were two men, another informant, and another Fernando associate, Rafael Rubio. Vasquez then called Fernando to tell that the deal was good, but then it went bad when Vasquez and Rubio forced Fass and the two informants into a back room, demanding drugs and cash. Fass then reacted by shooting at Rubio, and then one of them shot Fass several times before they both fled. Pelonero called for backup and then went into the garage to find Fass on the floor; he would die within an hour. Fass was killed in the bust, and Mendoza quickly went into hiding as a fugitive from the law.Within a few hours, both Rubio and Vasquez were in custody. Both were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, Agustin Vasquez-Mendoza vanished and is still on the run. A $50,000 reward is being offered in this case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 25, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Captured. Mendoza was arrested in 2000 in Mexico and was extradited to the United States five years later. His half-brother, Juan Rubio Vasquez, was implicated in the murder of Richard Fass and is now doing a life sentence. Mendoza is now serving seventy years in prison.
- Agustin Vasquez Mendoza on Wikipedia
- Mendoza on the FBI Website
- Mexico Arrests Suspect in Killing of DEA Agent
- Drug War Cowboys
- Richard Fass at Officer Down Memorial Page