11/20/2000

Hunt in Mexico for fugitive Oakland officer

PoliceOne Staff Report
(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Federal law enforce began a manhunt yesterday for the purported ringleader of four officers charged with beatings and false arrest.

Authorities believe that Officer Francisco Vazquez, 43, fled to his native Mexico where FBI agents are pursuing "strong leads" in Cancun, the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week.

The others in a group of officers who reportedly called themselves, "The Riders" were charged on Nov. 1.

A $194,500 state warrant and a federal warrant alleging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution ("UFAP") have been filed, Special Agent Andrew Black told the Chronicle.

Vazquez along with officers Clarence "Chuck" Mabang, 35, Jude Siapno, 32, and Matt Horung, 28 face 63 of felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly beating and framing drug suspects in West Oakland last summer.

Mabanag, Siapano and Horung are expected to enter pleas on Dec. 6, according to the Chronicle.

FBI special agents in Mexico City, acting as go-betweens for the U.S. government and law-enforcement officials in Mexico, will assist in the search for Vazquez, Black told the newspaper.

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