Former Tracy resident Emmanuel “Manny” Mendoza — one of three men originally sought in the fatal shooting of Prater on Sept. 15, 2010 — was handed over to officials in Texas on Monday, Oct. 3.
“This was the culmination of a lot of work by law enforcement on both sides of the border,” Robert Almonte, the U.S. Marshal for the western district of Texas, told the Press. “This guy would not be in our custody had it not been for the cooperation of law enforcement authorities in Mexico.”
He said cooperation between law enforcement on both sides of the border is a “daily occurrence,” but it was the work of the Tracy Police Department that got the ball rolling toward Mendoza’s capture.
“Law enforcement in California played a big role. It was their initial investigation that resulted in information that this subject had fled to the border area, and quite possibly into Mexico,” Almonte said.
Mexican authorities caught Mendoza in Juarez, just across the border from Texas, after the international investigation. He was detained as an illegal immigrant in Mexico and turned over to the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in El Paso, Texas.
Mendoza is suspected of participating in the fatal shooting of Prater along with Edgar Jose Canseco, who is facing trial and being held in San Joaquin County Jail without bail, and James Stancampiano, who remains on the lam.
Police allege that Prater was shot while in a car on Sixth Street with his girlfriend, and Canseco and Mendoza in the back seat. Stancampiano is thought to be the shooter and was supposedly outside the car.
Prater then drove, after being shot, into a fence on Sixth Street, was taken to the hospital, and pronounced dead.
Almonte said there wasn’t any update on the whereabouts of Stancampiano, but said “We will continue to look for any fugitive, including this one here.” Tracy police said earlier this year they suspected Stancampiano was somewhere in Mexico.
Mendoza is in custody in Texas, but Almonte hopes he can be extradited to San Joaquin County to face charges. He didn’t offer a timeline, but said such a maneuver can take quite some time.
“It’s a case by case basis,” he said.