How the Texas Rangers Bagged Boxcar Bandido

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There’s a bit of quiet crowing going on among Texas law-enforcement officials. It’s the Texas Rangers — and not the feds — who on Tuesday caught Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, the FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive suspected of killing eight people near railroad tracks in three states. Even better, the Rangers got him without firing a shot. By prearrangement, Ramirez quietly surrendered to Texas Ranger Sgt. Drew Carter at the Ysleta border crossing with Mexico. Carter introduced himself to Ramirez, shook his hand and arrested him, reports TIME's Hilary Hylton.

Following the federal Border Patrol’s embarrassingly blind catch and release of Ramirez last month, a friendly competition to snare the suspect intensified between the Rangers and the FBI. Sgt. Carter, however, "was the one who established a good rapport with Ramirez’s New Mexico sister," says Hylton, "and who got the cell call from her while fishing on the Gulf Coast." Though it is not yet fully clear why the elusive Ramirez decided to throw in the towel, Hylton reports "that his family is quite religious and there was a lot of family pressure on him." Authorities say the surrender agreement carried no side deal with it other than assurances that Ramirez would be safe in jail and would get counseling and the family would get visitation rights. But the prosecution will proceed unhindered, and, says Hylton, "the D.A. in Houston [where at least one of the murders was committed] is one of the leading proponents of the death penalty."