FBI offering $25,000 reward for alleged cartel associate

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that could lead to the arrest of a fugitive from Mission, according to a news release.

Juan Alberto Mendez, 47, is an alleged associate of the Gulf Cartel and is wanted in connection with a drug racketeering case, including murder in aid of racketeering, between 2015 and 2018 in Indiana and Texas.

In September 2015, a federal court in Indiana issued an arrest warrant after Mendez was charged with forfeiture, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

In May 2018, Mendez was issued another warrant for his arrest, now in Texas, after he was charged federally with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering and kidnapping resulting in death.

According to Hidalgo County jail records, Mendez has an arrest history dating back to 2007 for charges such as theft, driving while intoxicated and drug possession.

Court records from his May 2018 indictment also show that Mendez was affiliated with a criminal organization known as the Tri-City Bombers, which originated in Pharr and Lopezville in the 1980s. Mendez’s role in the organization was to recruit individuals to execute people he suspected of stealing controlled substances from the organization. He and 18 other members were charged with 28 different crimes in May.

According to an FBI news release, Mendez has brown hair, brown eyes, stands approximately 5 feet, 8 inches in height and weighs somewhere between 189 and 250 pounds. He has a scar on his abdomen, chin, head, right knee and right forearm, as well as a mole on his right cheek. He’s also known to wear glasses.

In the United States, Mendez has ties in Mission and Fort Wayne, Indiana. In Mexico, he has ties in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Monterrey and in Reynosa. According to the news release, Mendez should be considered armed and dangerous, and is a domestic and international flight risk.