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Mexican Mafia gang leader captured after fleeing to Missouri

October 23, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez
  • Albert "Spanky" Amaya was apprehended in Missouri after allegedly fleeing probation officials in San Bernardino County, authorities say.
Albert "Spanky" Amaya was apprehended in Missouri after allegedly… (Auzenne, Charlene / San…)

A crew chief for the Mexican Mafia prison gang has been captured after fleeing to a rural town in Missouri, authorities said.

Albert "Spanky" Amaya is accused of cutting off his GPS ankle device while on probation in San Bernardino County to evade authorities while he tried to relocate. 

The 45-year-old Amaya was convicted of extortion in 2008. It was his third felony conviction and he was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.

But under a measure approved by voters last year that allowed "three strikes" inmates to seek re-sentencing, Amaya was released in June to the supervision of the San Bernardino County Probation Department, authorities said.

Amaya was validated by state corrections authorities as a crew chief for the Mexican Mafia prison gang, according to the Probation Department.

Authorities with the Probation Department said they were seeking a court hearing to try and send him back to prison because of a previous gang-related conviction; he was considered a high-risk offender and placed on GPS monitoring. 

"He immediately cut off his GPS anklet and disappered," authorities said in a statement.

Amaya was eventually tracked to Sedalia, Mo., and arrested Friday night. He is awaiting extradition to California. 

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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