Tips from the public led FBI agents and Fairfax County police to Woodbridge Friday evening. There they arrested Walter Yovany Gomez, one of the FBI’s Top 10 Fugitives.
Gomez, along with another suspect, is accused of murdering Julio Matute in Plainfild, New Jersey back in May of 2011. Matute was hit in the head with a baseball bat, had his throat slashed and was stabbed in the back 17 times with a screwdriver.
Police identified Gomez and the other assailant as members of the gang known as the Plainfield Locos Salvatrucha (PLS), said to be part of the larger MS-13 gang. According to the FBI, leadership from the MS-13 gang in Plainfield ordered Gomez to kill his friend for associating with a rival gang. Gomez and another gang member attacked Matte after a night of drinking. When police tried to arrest Gomez he jumped out the second-floor window of his home and escaped into the city of Plainfield. The next day, gang members drove Gomez from New Jersey to Maryland to hide out with MS-13 members there.
The second assailant was subsequently apprehended, charged, and found guilty for the Matute homicide.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Gomez in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, on September 19, 2013, after he was charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering. Gomez was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on April 12, 2017.”The apprehension of Walter Yovany Gomez is a prime example of the close coordination between the vigilant public and the hard working men and women of law enforcement,” stated Timothy Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division. “Gomez will now stand trial for his alleged involvement in a brutal murder which took a young man from his family.”
The FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Fairfax County Police Department’s Gang Unit, and the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force coordinated the local search and arrest of Gomez, who will remain in custody pending extradition proceedings.