News Release

July 25, 2012

Three Most Wanted Fugitives Arrested in Last Week


Two of the arrests were results of tips
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety today announced that three of the Texas 10 Most Wanted fugitives or sex offenders were captured within the last week. Fugitives Daniel Pineda Jr., 26, and Trinidad Diaz Mermella, 46, were both arrested on Tuesday, July 24, in separate incidents after tips led to their capture. Additionally, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender, Brandon Gary Johnson, 42, was arrested last week in Dallas.

So far in 2012, DPS and other agencies have arrested 24 Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including 17 gang members, and $75,500 in rewards have been paid for tips that resulted in arrests. The cash rewards are funded by the Governorís Criminal Justice Division.

Pineda, a Latin Kings gang member, was arrested Tuesday evening in Bryan after a tip helped authorities locate him at a residence. A tipster will receive the $7,500 cash reward. Pineda had a lengthy criminal history, had been arrested 10 times and was wanted for Parole Violation and Possession of a Controlled Substance. DPS Criminal Investigations Division (CID) agents, Texas Rangers, the DPS Highway Patrol and the Bryan Police Department all played a role in the apprehension. For more details, view his captured poster at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/capturedDetails.aspx?id=148.

Mermella, a Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos gang member, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Odessa after a tip led authorities to his location. A tipster will receive the $7,500 cash reward. His lengthy criminal history included Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer, Assault, Burglary, and Drug Possession. He was also wanted for Parole Violation. DPS CID agents, the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and the Midland County Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the capture. For more information, view his captured bulletin at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/capturedDetails.aspx?id=146.

Johnson, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender, was captured July 18 in Dallas by a DPS CID agent and members of the U.S. Marshals Service North Texas Fugitive Task Force. He was originally arrested by the Garland Police Department for the aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, which required him to register as a high-risk sex offender. No tip from the public was involved in this arrest, so no reward will be paid. See his captured bulletin at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/Texas10MostWanted/SexOffenderDetails.aspx?id=143.

Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of the Texas 10 Most Wanted fugitives or sex offenders. There are four different ways to provide anonymous tips:

All calls, texts, e-mails and Facebook messages are anonymous.

DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives featured in the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program. You can find the current lists—with photos—on the DPS website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/texas10mostwanted/.

Do not attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.

### (HQ 2012-083)