MIAMI (AP) - A banker and attorney on the run for 26 years after his conviction in a major South Florida marijuana smuggling case has been captured in Mexico.
The U.S. Marshals Service reported Thursday that 61-year-old Manuel Lopez-Castro was arrested this week in Cancun, Mexico, and is back in Miami to face justice. Lopez-Castro fled in 1986 rather than show up at a Florida prison to begin serving a 27-year sentence for marijuana smuggling and other convictions.
Authorities say Lopez-Castro was captured after officers including Mexican Federal Police did a staged traffic stop. It's believed he lived in Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela and Panama before settling in Mexico.
Lopez-Castro was part of a pot smuggling ring responsible for importing some 600,000 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. from 1977 to 1984.
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