A man sought in connection with a fatal shooting at a Tracy dairy more than two decades ago has been captured by the FBI.
Moises Galvan Gonzalez, 41, a Mexican national, was wanted for his part in the killing of Alfonso Arellanes Vargas at the Lucky “J” Dairy on Patterson Pass Road on June 15, 1998.
He was taken into custody Thursday in Delhi, where he was found by FBI agents and members of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
A 1998 Tracy Press story reported that Moises Galvan Gonzalez, then 19, and his older brother Josue Galvan Gonzalez, then 22, lived with about eight other people at the dairy where the shooting occurred. Vargas, 22, worked at the dairy part time, and he was visiting there shortly after midnight, talking and drinking with friends.
The FBI’s account of the shooting said the brothers had driven up to the dairy, where Josue Galvan Gonzalez got into an argument with Vargas. At some point in the argument, Moises Galvan Gonzalez told Vargas’ friends to stay out of the way, and then Josue Galvan Gonzalez took a 20-gauge shotgun out of a car and shot Vargas once in the stomach.
The brothers fled by car with Josue Galvan Gonzalez’s common-law wife.
The Tracy Press reported that Vargas was alive when deputies arrived but later died from the single shotgun wound at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.
A local arrest warrant was issued for the brothers, and on Oct. 1, 2003, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California in Sacramento issued a federal arrest warrant charging Moises Galvan Gonzalez with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for murder. The FBI listed him on its fugitives page, which has since been amended to show his capture.
Both brothers fled to Mexico immediately after Vargas was killed, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. In 2005, Josue Galvan Gonzalez was arrested in Mexico on charges related to Vargas’ death. The district attorney’s office and the Mexican government reached an agreement and he was prosecuted in Mexico.
Moises Galvan Gonzalez is being held at the San Joaquin County Jail without bail on a charge of murder. He was assigned a public defender at an arraignment this afternoon in Stockton and is expected to return to court for further arraignment Feb. 21. He has not yet entered a plea.