by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
LOS ANGELES – Although it’s been more than 10 months since their arrest in the Philippines, FilAm brothers Marvin and Pierre Mercado have yet to be extradited to the US to face murder and attempted murder charges.
“It’s been an unusual long habeus corpus hearing,” said Sergeant Walter Teague during a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Downtown Bureau. “We have sent over further evidence. I’ve offered to testify. Whatever the Philippine authority need I am 110 percent and the LA police department will provide them. We have provided some more [evidence] and hope it could expedite the process.”
On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and LAPD officials made its first announcement about the two fugitives capture since their arrest in the Philippines last September.
The Mercado brothers had been hiding in the Philippines for the past 11 years.
Teague said that Marvin and Pierre were members of the Asian Boyz gang in the 1990’s. The two brothers are wanted in connection for their roles in a crime spree that claimed the lives of 12 people and other criminal activities including home invasions, robberies, burglaries, assaults and drive-by shootings in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to Teague.
The two then fled to avoid arrest and prosecution for alleged murder, attempted murder and robbery charges in mid-1990.
Marvin was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since 1997 and featured on America’s Most Wanted.
Last year, Philippine Immigration Authorities nabbed the two brothers in their condominium in Quezon City. They are being held on immigration charges. The FBI later confirmed it was indeed the alleged suspects.
Teague did not elaborate as to how they were apprehended.
“They were identified and arrested,” said Teague.
Teague has followed the Mercado’s trail for the past decade. He was part of the original LAPD Asian Task force along with the FBI that investigated the Asian Boyz gang.
“Right as our investigation was coming into fruition, several members of the gang including the Mercado’s fled the country…everyone was rounded up and brought to trial except the Mercado brothers.”
“That trial was the largest multi-defendant, death penalty case in California history,” he added. “Seven members of the Asian Boyz were convicted and sent to prison. But the Mercado’s escaped justice and remained at large.”
One of the Asian Boyz gang members convicted was another FilAm, David Evangelista. All seven-members were sentenced to life-in-prison.
Teague said that Marvin faces six-counts of murder. His brother, Pierre, faces attempted murder charges. Each faces a possible life sentence.
Teague did not give a timetable as to when the two brothers will be extradited.
“We are still working with authorities,” he said.