Colorado fugitive who escaped prison in 1974 is captured in New Mexico

Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 18:37:46-04

ESPANOLA, N.M. — More than 45 years later, a Colorado inmate who escaped from a state prison is back in custody.

Luis Archuleta, 77, was arrested Wednesday in Espanola, N.M., a small town north of Santa Fe, the FBI said in a news release.

Archuleta had been living in Espanola under the alias Ramon Montoya for about the last 40 years, officials said. He had escaped a Colorado state prison in 1974, following his conviction the year before on a charge of assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon in Denver.

A jury found Archuleta guilty of shooting a Denver police officer in the 4400 block of Mariposa Street in March 1973.

The FBI first issued a warrant for his arrest in 1977 on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, a warrant that remained active until 2018, officials said. In June, a new federal warrant was issued for Archuleta's arrest.

"This arrest should send a clear signal to violent offenders everywhere: The FBI will find you, no matter how long it takes or how far you run, and we will bring you to justice," FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in the news release.