Washington, D.C. – In a move aimed at encouraging public cooperation in apprehending dangerous criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has raised the reward for information leading to the arrest of individuals on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. As of May 25, 2023, the reward has been increased from up to $100,000 to up to $250,000, with the potential for even higher amounts in certain cases.

Recognizing the invaluable role played by the public in tracking down fugitives over the years, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division emphasized the significance of raising the rewards. He stated, “The FBI recognizes the crucial role that public assistance has played in tracking fugitives throughout the years. Raising the rewards for the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives will ideally garner additional public tips resulting in the capture of these dangerous criminals.”

The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list has a rich history dating back to March 1950. The idea for the list originated when a reporter requested the names of the “toughest guys” the Bureau sought to apprehend. In response, a Washington Daily News article titled “FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives Named” generated substantial publicity, prompting former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to establish an ongoing list.

The inaugural individual on the list was Thomas Holden, wanted for the murder of his wife, her brother, and her stepbrother. Holden evaded capture for over a decade until 1961 when an article published in The Oregonian newspaper caught the attention of a concerned citizen. The citizen provided a crucial tip to the FBI, leading to Holden’s arrest in Oregon.

Since its inception, the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list has been instrumental in bringing numerous criminals to justice. Out of the 494 fugitives listed, 163 were apprehended directly due to citizen cooperation. In the past five years alone, the FBI successfully captured eight fugitives from the list, the most recent being Michael James Pratt and Jose Rodolfo Villarreal-Hernandez.

To be included in the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, individuals must be deemed extremely dangerous and have a substantial history of committing serious crimes. The FBI also considers the potential impact of national and international publicity on the likelihood of apprehending the fugitives.

The increased rewards are expected to incentivize individuals with crucial information to come forward and assist law enforcement agencies in their pursuit of justice. By offering a significantly higher reward, the FBI aims to engage the public’s help in tracking down these fugitives and ensuring the safety of communities across the nation.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the FBI’s website (https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten) to access the latest information on the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and submit tips securely and anonymously. With the increased rewards, the FBI hopes that this initiative will lead to more arrests and serve as a strong deterrent for criminals on the run.

As the FBI continues its mission to protect and serve the American people, the organization remains committed to fostering partnerships with the public and leveraging their support to bring fugitives to justice. The increased rewards for the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives are just one facet of the FBI’s comprehensive strategy to combat crime and ensure the safety of communities nationwide.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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