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Most wanted US criminal held in Mexico

world Updated: Jul 20, 2009 07:50 IST
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Mexican police have arrested one of the ten most wanted criminals in the United States and US officials have asked for his extradition, Mexican judicial officials said on Sunday.

Emigdio Preciado, 39, was wanted for an attack on two Los angeles County sheriff's department deputies in September 2000 in Whittier, California, during a routine traffic stop, the FBI said on its website.

Preciado's photograph is stamped "captured" on the website. The FBI said he had fired 21 shots from an assault rifle and caused serious injury to one of the sheriff's deputies.

Preciado was apprehended in Mexico's northwest Friday night, according to laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman. Mexican officials put the time of capture as Saturday.

Mexico's Attorney General said a judge would be in charge of the extradition procedure, which can take months and sometimes years. The attorney general's office said Preciado was captured in Santiago Escuintla, in the state of Nayarit.

In the 2000 California incident, Preciado along with other members of his gang were stopped for driving without lights. US officials charge that Preciado opened a car door and shot at the sheriff deputies with an AK-47. The injured deputy suffers from partial paralysis and loss of memory, Mexican justice officials said.