Escaped inmate continues to elude Texas authorities

Gonzalo Lopez escaped from a Texas Department of Criminal Justice transport bus on May 12 after assaulting a correctional officer


Palestine Herald-Press

LEON COUNTY, Texas — The search by ground and air concluded in Leon County where convicted murderer Gonzalo Artemio Lopez, 46, escaped from a prison transport bus and stabbed the driver last month as authorities said the hunt for him would expand, however, new information has been slow in coming.

On May 12, Lopez escaped from a Texas Department of Criminal Justice transport bus on State Highway 7 near Centerville after assaulting a correctional officer.

Gonzalo Artemio Lopez.
Gonzalo Artemio Lopez. (Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

Lopez, from the Rio Grande Valley, is affiliated with the Mexican Mafia. He is 6 feet tall, weighs about 185 pounds and has tattoos on his back, abdomen and chest. He also has a burn scar on the right side of his neck. He has ties to the Rio Grande Valley area, including Weslaco and Mercedes. He also has ties to San Antonio.

In 1996, Lopez was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and was sentenced to eight years in a TDCJ prison. In 2006, he was convicted of capital murder and aggravated kidnapping in Hidalgo County and was sentenced to life in prison. In 2007, Lopez was given a second life sentence after being convicted of attempted capital murder in Webb County.

On May 25, the United States Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force-Waco Division announced it would be assisting the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the search for Lopez.

"The Marshals Service has elevated Gonzalo Lopez to major case status and is contributing up to $10,000 toward his capture," said Susan Pamerleau, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas. "We sincerely hope this money will serve as an incentive for someone who knows something to do the right thing and contact us. The sooner we get him back into custody, the better."

The Leon County Sheriff's Office issued warrants for his arrest for escape and aggravated assault against a public servant and the Texas Department of Public Safety added him to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List and Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.

To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities using one of the following three methods:

Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about and then clicking on the link under their picture. Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the "SUBMIT A TIP" link, under the "About" section.

All tips are anonymous — regardless of how they are submitted — and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.

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

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(c)2022 the Palestine Herald-Press (Palestine, Texas)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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